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Your take on the USA win vs. Guatemala


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Good evening folks. I have finally completed the day-long journey from Guatemala to New Jersey (well, almost completed, I’m in New York right now) and it was good to see the healthy discussions taking place on SBI regarding the U.S. team’s win against Guatemala on Wednesday night.

For those of you who haven’t seen it, here is my take on the USA-Guatemala game for

Before I drive to Jersey for the final leg of my trip, I want to do a survey on what SBI readers actually thought about the match. I know there were plenty of comments about it, but I want to see some actual statistics. So it’s time for a poll (feel free to share more thoughts on the match, and on your reasonings for your selection in the poll below):


  1. mig22 – Agreed. Bradley made the right adjustments but only because Lewis was knocked out (bring in Beasley) and Cherundolo pulled an Orozco (put on Hejduk). However, he is getting results. 3 points is 3 points and we have to be happy with that even if it was just off a set piece and Howard was god-like in goal.

    This dual defensive mid formation is starting to bother me. It was a great idea to stop the attack and spring counters, but when only Edu seems capable of passing the ball to his own teammates, it makes me wonder if another line up is more suitable with our roster. What’s the point of stopping an attack only to pass it right back to the opposition?

    Dempsey still looks tired which surprises me. We all gave him a free pass in his previous performances because of his time in Fulham but with the off season to recoup, we would expect him to show some life out there. Very concerning and wondering what’s going on with him.

  2. If we don’t score that goal on a set piece, and the game finishes 0-0.. everybody here pleased with the performance is calling for Bradley’s head. Guatemala totally outplayed us for the first 60 minutes… just look at how many opportunities each team had in the game. Our best chances were headers off of set pieces and shots from 40 yards out.

    I wasn’t really pleased with the starting lineup but I can overlook that somewhat. The biggest problem with Bradley is he came back out in the 2nd half and made NO adjustments. He only makes adjustments when he is forced to. Anybody that doesn’t think that is a problem is lying to themselves or doesn’t know the game of soccer very well.

  3. OK, for all of you telling us how disappointed we should be, and calling for Bradley to be fired because we don’t have enough possession, could you please explain why this is down to the national team coaching? Are there a lot of American players who’d have been able to go into that cauldron on Weds night and played some pretty, Brazil 1970 style game, or even some approximation of it, who you think Bradley’s not calling up? Would the presence of Kenny Cooper have transformed the midfield behind him to be able to hold the ball long enough to get good service to the forwards, or would Adu really have spent more time standing up instead of being on the ground having been pushed or kicked down? Or do you think that the team is very skillful, but Bradley is telling them to make 2 to 3 passes amongst themselves, and then give the ball to the other team and rush back to defend?

    I’m obviously being a bit facetious with the last question, but seriously, player for player, the US is not there yet. A national team coach isn’t can only do so much, he can’t develop players, he can only use what he has available to him. It’s funny to me how we always read people complaining about how the US youth system seems to only create hard running, hard working solid players, but doesn’t really develop any truly skillful players, and then we hear people complain that the national team players don’t play this beautiful skillful game.

    Yes, if Beasley had been on the field from the start, that would have helped, but was he available. I don’t actually like Ching on the National team, but the forwards didn’t really get enough support to really even be judged. Donovan definitely has his problems fading in and out of games, but do we have enough players to not have him start? Dempsey has a lot of skill, but I don’t think he’s the kind of player who can run a team. While I certainly do have some questions regarding Bradley and his choices/decisions, I just feel that we have a lot of players at a certain level, and while it’s certainly a decent level, it’s not world class.

  4. @SeaOtter

    “It is possible…for a team to be outplayed and still win.”

    I’m not not sure why my message was unclear, but that is exactly what I said. Of course I’m happy to take 3 points away, but I’m a little bit discouraged and disappointed by being outplayed. For those saying this was the gameplan all along, I completely disagree. We did not go into Guatemala saying, “Okay, let’s let Guatemala control the majority of the possession and take twice as many shots on goal.” Of course the US set out to play a defensive game, but that usually entails holding a majority of possession and minimizing your opponents’ shots on goal. Neither was accomplished. Why are people angry that there are some less-than-satisfied fans out there? There have been many times this team has struggled to hold possession and create chances on goal…they rely too heavily on heaving longballs from the back (although they do utilize the wingbacks pretty well at times)…there are problems that need to be worked on. I’m not worried about qualifying. I’m a little worried about other, more important games (and no, it’s not based on just this one performance).

  5. The US won’t win pretty until it can control the midfield. Likewise, it will continue struggle to win “big” games until the players develop some sort of composure late in matches.

  6. The biggest frustration for me this game was not making any changes at halftime tactically. We were getting OUTPLAYED and up to the point when Lewis was clocked, it was clear Bradley was looking for 0-0.

    The game changed after it went to 10 v 10 and Bradley was FORCED to remove Dempsey, Lewis, and Mastroeni. If he wasn’t forced by injuries, would Bradley have made those subs in time to make a difference in the game? Was he waiting for Guatemala to score?

    The bunker down and boot-it tactics, plus these questions are why the US performance was a disappointment

  7. When the line-up was revealed just before kick-off, was I the only one who thought: “we are going to have trouble creating scoring chances”? With Bradley and Pablo in the middle, I just knew chances would be at a premium b/c they are not creative and they both tend to give the ball away. I think Adu when called in) or Donovan should play behind the strikers to give us a bit of drive and creativity going forward…I thought 0-0 when seeing the line-up, and I think we were lucky to escape with all 3 points…


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