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CONCACAF World Cup qualifying matchnight: Your running commentary

Good evening everybody, or late afternoon to those of us on the West Coast. It's time for the final matchday of the penultimate stage of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. While the United States, Costa Rica and El Salvador have already booked safe passage, thee others nations will find a way into the final hexagonal stage tonight.

What match will you follow? Which teams do you think will advance? While the SBI jet has yet to land in L.A., please join me in providing live commentary of the two televised matches — United States vs. Guatemala and Mexico vs. Honduras.

To get you started, here is the U.S. starting lineup:

Brad Guzan; John Thorrington, Clarence Goodson, Michael Parkhurst, Jonathan Bornstein; Ricardo Clark, Freddy Adu, Pablo Mastroeni, Sacha Kljestan; Kenny Cooper, Jozy Altidore

For those wondering, that's the first ever start in World Cup qualifying for Thorrington, Goodson, Bornstein, Clark and Cooper.

Here are the starters from Kingston for the match between Jamaica and Canada. Red Bulls fans can breathe, Dane Richards is not in John Barnes' XI.

Canada: Lars Hirchfeld, Adrian Cann, Andrew Hainault, Nik Ledgerwood, Paul Stalteri, Chris Pozniak, Will Johnson, Charles Gbeke, Marcel De Jonh, Kevin Harmse, Issey Nakjima-Farran

Jamaica: Donovan Ricketts, Damian Steward, Claude Davis, Ian Goodison, Ricardo Fuller, Luton Shelton, Demar Phillips, Tyrone Marshall, Ricardo Gardner, O'Neil Thompson, Rodolph Austin

It should be a dramatic night of qualifying. Share your thoughts below.


  1. Jesus! Will someone give johnathon Bornstein a hamburger. Hes anorexic he blends in with the field lines. His skinnier than the 19 year old coke whore I brought home last night.

    P.S- Is there nothing more embarassing then when your trying to leave a girls house at 3 AM and she catches you.What can you do? She only gets mad and tells you to leave anyway. And cries. Why do dogs sniff air condtioners? We will never know the answers to these questions.

  2. Kljestan is so calm on the ball his touch and vision is I thing what we need in the midfield

    first qualifyer:



    Beasley Kljestan Bradley Adu

    Pearce Boca Gooch Dolo

    (I honestly think Johnny b might take pearce’s spot)








    (pablo is out the first game because of accumulation

  3. Some may not be enthralled with Sasha’s hairdo and speed but i think that his feel for the game, his total commitment and focus and his ability to run and cover ground for 90 minutes are unique amd indispensable. Put him anywhere preferably in the middle but he must be part of the starting midfield.

  4. Zach- “So now what do we do in central midfield next game? Bradley and Edu or Bradley and Clark or some other combination?

    It will be very inexperienced and defensive against a much stronger opponent”

    inexperienced?? surely you dont mean the Bradley that has started nearly every USMN game since BB’s tenure started?? personally a midfield tandum, i would go with MB and Kljestan…

    on the game:

    i didnt get to see it all, but from what i did see, i was impressed

    Cooper and JOzy up front duo- we saw some quality stuff, and surprisingly they already had some chemstry and understanding… i think if Bob was truly wise he would continue this duo as much as possible to solidify their understanding prior to WC10…… great goal by cooper, and jozy was the cause of many of the chances… i was hoping he’d shoot that one early in the game rather then trying to red carpet cooper (who’s defender cleared it first)…..

    midfield- clark impressed me quite a bit in the time i saw… but outside of a wonderful tackle and a brilliant run up field (pulling a foundation and creating a quality opportunity), i didnt see too much of him so my view of his game wasnt truly negatively impacted…. problem with watching games at a sports bar with no volume is you tend to miss quite a bit… didnt see much of mastro, but i blame the bar (mainly from what ive read on here)… kljestan and adu had some good looks, but also gave away just as many (which is understandable as not every play will succeed)… decent quick touches and control of the ball for the whole of the middle…

    defense- for the people harping on Thor, he did well.. Fire fans have been wishing DH would pull a Thor at RB in his formation… Thor has very controlled tackles when it matter (back 1/3), and is quality at getting up into the attack… i CANNOT believe that he didnt get the PK call, the refs were rancid :-/

  5. AWESOME performance by the young and inexperienced team. The game couldn’t have been too much better even with the veteran team starting XI. Something the commentators missed when Altidore was taken out of the game: Even though he did not score, take away BOTH goals if he were not in the game. The first goal, which was amazing, he made an incredible run and then assisted Kenny Cooper. Kenny had a solid finish. The second goal was caused by Altidore beating his man and then forcing him to foul him outside of the box before he took it to the hole. This was a sure goal for Altidore before the foul. Conclusion, without Altidore in the game, no goals. The commentators did say how great his first touches were, and they were on target.

    However, Kenny Cooper had more solid looks on goal, hitting the crossbar once and seemed to create more chances. I think he deserves more call-ups after his performance.

    I liked how Bradley mixed it up putting the left footed Adu on the right wing and the right footed Sacha on the left. It worked brilliantly. With Sacha on the left looking like a ten times better player than the recent game when he played on the right. This worked extremely well, and no one, that I saw, predicted this swap. I saw many posts for the expected way, right footed player on the right, lefty on the left. The swap enabled the strong players to dribble inwards with their strong feet to shoot and make inwards passes. Great decision by Bradley. The swap also allowed space for the right and left backs to then overlap for strong footed crosses into the box. The overlaps happened, but the crosses sucked. If Bradley were to put Sacha and Adu like this with A team defenders, (not Heyduk, Bornstein, or Thorington) then the crosses will be on. (Think Pearce, Cherundolo, and dare I say, Subotic).

    On the topic of Adu, as always his glaring strong suits and glaring weaknesses both shown through. But first let me congratulate him on his first NAT goal. Wonderful and beautiful goal. However, Adu’s strong points are on the dribble, when the ball is at his feet, on corners, free kicks, and any time the ball is stationary. He did amazing in those respects.

    His weaknesses are defending, recovering after losing the ball, making runs into open space, getting open and calling for the ball. He looked terrible in those situations, which is why he seems to disappear sometimes. These greatnesses and weaknesses balance him out to just an average player, and he won’t be starting in 2010 unless he turns those terrible weaknesses at least to an average USMNT player’s ability.

    I imagine Coach Bradley in the film session after this game pausing the film after each time Adu loses the ball or the teams swap possession and pointing to the Adu on the screen. Everytime his head will be down and he will be strolling AWAY from the opposing teammates, ESPECIALLY the open man or the guy with the ball. Just awful.

    Pablo Maestroeni was the anchor, the strongest person in the game, and the difference maker. Great showing. Did anyone notice the dumbfounded look on Bradley’s face when he got that yellow? Now he can’t use Pablo first game next round, and it looked pretty clear that Bradley had plans for Pablo.

    So now what do we do in central midfield next game? Bradley and Edu or Bradley and Clark or some other combination?

    It will be very inexperienced and defensive against a much stronger opponent, unless I am forgetting a strong veteran defensive central midfield player that isn’t retired…. I cannot think of one.

    All in all, I am very proud of the USMNT. They represented us greatly, and I am appreciative of their efforts. A great way to close out the year and the season. Makes me proud to be their fan.

  6. Thanks for the commentary boys, didn’t even have to read or watch the game after finishing up my studies – comments tell the whole story.

  7. “USA starting 11 for 2010 opening match against… South Africa”

    That lineup will kick ass in South Africa. Especially since we’d have 12 guys one the field against 11 for the other side. 🙂

  8. Canada played a very under strengthed side tonight. It is a shame that Jamaica did not score 6… I would have loved to see Mexico sweat more with only 9 men in injury time…

  9. Oops, I thought Mexico was eliminated and Jamaica was going through. What a crazy night though! Who would have thought Mexico would need goal differential to advance? I was sure Mexico would at least tie Honduras tonight. Who thought Jamaica would thump Canada? I’ll miss the “Group of Death,” but the next round for CONCACAF is sure to be just as exciting.

  10. Dempsey is going to have a place. His time at Fulham has made him such a better and smarter player. He is not all flash now but is grit and plays simpler. He is our next John Harkes.

    USA starting 11 for 2010 opening match against… South Africa

    Altidore / Cooper


    Beasley / Bradley / Donovan / Adu

    Pearce / Gooch / Boca / Dolo










  11. Decent game for our B team. Altidore and Adu showed their talent and Cooper should why we need him for qualifying. Klejstan, what can i say? He’s the Man. Please someone in Holland/Germany get him out of MLS and play at the top level. Bornstein? Well Bradley does favor you. Guzan? Sooner or later you will be competing for our no1 spot, no doubt.

  12. Amazing that Mexico needed goal difference to get through. They got a ton of lucky breaks in Canada to get the draw and they’d otherwise be out.

  13. Will Cooper/Altidore be our strike duo for the future? What about Davies or EJ? Will they be super-subs? Is Ching’s international time over? Rolfe, Casey, all fringe, they should keep to MLS.

  14. What about England? They have strikers out of the ass.






    and always have Owen or Heskey in consideration.

  15. I do not think Sven has had enough time to really impose his style yet. Mexico has plenty of young talent and Sven will figure it out I am sure… Costa Rica did advance from a very weak group and El Salvador will clearly be the whipping boys of the hex.


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