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USA comes back to beat Honduras, 2-1

Carlos Bocanegra ( 

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When Carlos Costly's fifth-minute strike gave Honduras an early lead on Saturday, U.S. men's national team fans had the scary feeling that they were in for a repeat performance of Wednesday's awful loss to Costa Rica.

The U.S. team didn't let that happen.

Instead of folding to an early goal as they did on Wednesday, the United States stepped up and delivered a gutsy comeback that rejuvenated its World Cup qualifying hopes and gave several young players the chance to impress.

Landon Donovan's penalty kick tied things up before halftime, then Carlos Bocanegra headed home a Clint Dempsey header for the game-winning goal.

The victory moves the United States into second place in the CONCACAF Hexagonal qualifying group, two points behind first-place Costa Rica (which won at Trinidad & Tobago, 3-2, on Saturday) and five points ahead of El Salvador, which defeated Mexico, 2-1, on Saturday night in San Salvador. Mexico now sits fifth overall, a point behind fourth-place Honduras and a point ahead of last-place Trinidad & Tobago.

What did you think of the U.S. team's victory? Which players impressed you the most? Are you looking forward to Confederations Cup again? Are you still not happy with the U.S. national team?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Altidore did not play well. His inactivity in Spain clearly showed. I can’t remember one long ball he was able to hold at his feet. Why the US continued to play him long is a mystery.

  2. Finally back from Chicago.

    Great atmosphere. It’s ashame that most US fans missed the only weekend home qualifier this cycle. I think the 30% of the crowd that were US fans represented well.

    I think Casey played well, considering his only time around the national team in a few years was in winter camp, and most of the “A” team weren’t in attendance.

    Benny played well, Clark played well, Spector played well. I don’t think people give Bornstein enough credit for playing up top for the last 10 minutes and actually holding the ball and looked a little like an actual forward.

    The game certainly changed when Dempsey and Donovan decided halfway through the 1st half, that they would actually play, instead of just jogging around.

    Another interesting aspect was watching the pure speed on the left (Bornstein/Donovan) and the technical ability/vision on the right (Dempsey/Spector). It seems like both gave Honduras fits.

  3. I thought Dempsey was a disaster.

    Altidore has stones for feet and can’t trap the ball.

    Spector played very well as did Donovan.

    But we were lucky, too.

  4. I like having the other team’s supporters in the stands. Most sports fans in the USA are not soccer fans. I have more in common with the Hondurans, etc. than I do with the average American sports fan.

    Re scouting Egypt. Be careful, are you seeing the first-choice team, or an experiment? (New Bradley conspiracy theory: he figured the CR game was going to be studied by Italy-Brazil-Egypt, so he picked the wrong outside backs on purpose.)

  5. just got back to Cali’ from the trip. great fun, great stadium- truly a fine monument. the honduran fans made for a great atmosphere, but this is the second time US fans failed to show up in respectable numbers to a US game held in chicago. no more chances, in my opinion. there are far more cities just wishing for the chance to show better US support. its a great city-i’m going back for a real visit soon as i can. i saw gulati before the game and almost told him great job putting butts in the seats- too bad they’re honduras supporters.

  6. can someone please explain to me why Guus would lay down the Russia job (after truning down Chlesea to stay) to come here? Maybe after this cycle someone of his caliber will become available, but until then i see no reason to fire Bradley, who has done alright.

    Everyone that has called for Adu to start needs to step back and thin for a second, the only senior game he has shown me anything were some nice moves against Argentina< other than that I can"t remember a good all around performance. He doesnt have the work rate to be part of a 4 man midfield so he would have to sit in behind a lone strker.

    Spector was very good and move to the left when Dolo comes back.

    Bornstein has earned another couple starts at left back.

    Casey didnt do bad considering his limited time with the squad, good work rate, but also failed to distinguish himself. Want to see the speed of Davies used as a sub more.

    Torres' defense against CR was poor and ultimately did not deserve a start. It probably came down to a choice between him and Feilhaber on the bench, and the right choice was made. Torres has good potential but needs to show better defensive awareness and tackling. I prefer Bradley, Edu, and based on last night Felhaber and Clark to him. He does still show great poise and touch on the ball along with tremendous potential.

  7. This game was my first US game and I have to say it was a truly amazing experience. The atmosphere was great (despite being dominated by Honduras fans) and the come-back win was awesome.

    After what I saw last night and after watching recent matches I’ve noticed we have… when all healthy… six good options at central mid. Bradley, Edu, Torres, Clarke, Feilhaber, and if Adu ever starts getting some playing time, him too. In my opinion there’s just no room for Mastroeni. When he isn’t in the game everything is just more solid, on both sides of the ball. I’m sorry, but he has got to go.

    Go USA!

  8. a couple things from last night

    1) hopefully this game once and for all puts to rest the idea that we can play w/out a guy in the middle of the field who will control the tempo of the game, and not give up stupid turnovers, which is the way this teams loses 90% of the time. Any physical or technical advantage we have is lost when we make stupid turnovers in the middle of the field… Donovan, Torres, or Feilhaber need to be in the middle of the game at all times

    2) Spector is our right back, Wynne backing him up. Wynne needs to play every minute of the Gold Cup, in order to improve at the international game. Spector should play every minute of the Confeds Cup

    3) Bornstein did well, and should lock up the other side spot. He played very well in 2007, before he was injured

    4) Feilhaber looked like his old self, he or Torres are perfect candidates to play the technical spot in the middle. Both are actually very good defensively, despite popular opinion

    5) Clarke and Bradley should compete for the other spot in the middle. Both really are the X-factors when paired w/ technical players, able to cover a lot of ground, good at distributing the ball, have excellent outside shots (especially Clarke), and are willing to do the dirty work.

    6) Dempsey and Donovan should switch sides, but even if they don’t, having a distributor in the middle makes them so much more dangerous on the outside

    7) the search for a dangerous forward continues. Altidore looks good at times, but certainly not dominant. Davies looked very good the other night, although it was only about 10 minutes, he looked much more confident than ever before

    8) I will continue complaining until Adu starts a game in an attacking position, preferably right behind the forward… For a team who’s # 1 flaw is being creative in attack and holding possession, this should be a no brainer. I’m not saying he should start every game forever, but he should at least be given a chance. Can Freddy get a shot?

  9. spector is class on the ball & defends well, plus….as a right back he serves the best crosses into the middle CONSISTENTLY.

    the usa has not had a consistent crosser of the ball since eddie lewis.

    benny was very solid last night….how torres is not dressed for that game, i have no clue, i generally like bradley, but his pulling torres at half in costa rica (he was the best us player on the field at the time) & then not even having him dress for this game is shameful.

    conor casey, after the first 25 mins, he settled in & won some headers, but showed nothing else….how kenny cooper is not ahead of casey as a post up forward?!?!? bradley really has something against him it seems like.

    DmB is done…he’s pretty useless, brings a lot of pace & energy, but he has not confidence right now…he doesn’t take on anyone anymore, he’s afraid to get tackled…every ball he plays is backwards or tentative & he has far too many loose passes/touches picked off by the defending team putting his team/defense under undue pressure.

    dempsey, i love the creativity, but he was dribbling WAY to much, especially early on (he was totally to blame for the honduras goal…slow to respond after losing the ball)

    clark……had one of his better games, but i’m still not sold on him at the national team level.

    landon donovan should NOT be over the ball on any corners or free kicks from over 30 yds out…his crosses/corners have been HORRIBLE of late (past several national team games)….i will give him that he did serve a decent ball in for the Boca goal, that was his only moment (other than the ice in his veins for the PK)

    boca/gooch/howard/demerit…all played excellent…

    bornstein had a very good gutsy match…brought a lot of energy, played within himself & didn’t try to force things, which is when he’s had troubles in prior national team outings.

  10. To bring Beasley in for defensive purposes is a huge mistake at any position at any time. The fact that he had no other subs was again his poor selections and subs.

  11. First national team game last night in chicago….

    Jozy’s touch and strength were amazing, he was the lone target up top and never gave up

    Mastro has better touch that it appears on tv…does play the ball back too much, but a decent dm. why pair him with clarke bobby?

    Put dempsey up top, he seems lost on the right

  12. When Coach Bradley brought in Beasley at LB I wanted to strangle him. I’ve never been a Bob must go, until tonight. The other reason was keeping Borstein and Spector on the bench against the Ticos. It sure looks like he’s clueless.

    Posted by: madmax | June 07, 2009 at 12:34 AM

    Bradley never brought Beasley in at LB. He brought him in for Conor Casey, and very wise defensive move in the latter stages of a game that we were already winning. If he HAD brought him in at LB, then no one would have protested you strangling him.

  13. what if we start adu on the left and move boca to lb to make up for freddy’s lack of defense, moce demerit into cb use donavon on the right and dempsey up top. i thought he did a good job up there in limited minutes sat

  14. @ Athority

    I agree, he is more of a deep lying playmaker. Perfect partner for Bradley. I was also impressed with Bennys defense yesterday, looks like all that time off might have given him a poke in the but to work his butt off on defense.

    need adu to come to the front, altidore can be the target striker, adu just isnt match fit and must be down on confidence.

    WC2010 dreaming

  15. did all these Torres fans not see his inability to tackle with any conviction against CR? He pokes at the ball, its pathetic and the reason he was pulled at CR and why Benny (who looks to be our most complete CM) came on to dominate the 2nd half of that last game.

  16. Great to see Benny out there again last night. He brought his usual passing vision and composure on the ball. But his tracking back, breaking up plays and quickness/positioning off the ball was a pleasant surprise. His smart and active transition play sprung Donovan and Dempsey’s more dangerous runs in the second half. It looks like the regular club minutes are doing him good, and I look forward to seeing more of him in the Confed cup.

  17. One of the things that struck me was the fits we had controlling the middle of the pitch. That’s how they scored that first goal, and throughout the night all our attacks started out purely by running up the sidelines. I really think we need to run a formation with some attacking central midfielder (say Adu) and another anchor in the middle (I really like Torres against Costa Rica).

    Torres seems capable of controlling tempo and keeping the US from falling into the unfortunate strategy of making deep passes and hoping a striker gets to it first. I still do not understand why Freddie Adu hasn’t seen more action. He always plays with energy, and he’s a real creative attacking threat.

    Casey looked mostly lost out on the pitch, and his timing and chemistry with the team was lacking. Given that he was called up two days before the match, it’s hard to blame him for this. He looks big and physical, and I definitely like that. If he and Altidore can get into sync, the troubles we had scoring against Honduras will probably fade away.

    At this point, I like a formation that looks like

    —–Altidore —– Casey/Ching —–

    Demspey —– Adu —– Donovan

    —– Torres/Bradley —–

    Spector —– Gooch —– Bocanegra —– Bornstein

    —– * HOWARD * —–

    Mastroeni seems to lack the stamina needed to be a starter, so I’d like to see him come in off the bench. The other day I had made the claim that we didn’t seem to have two quality side backs. If Bornstein and Spector can prove to be consistent, we may have on any given match three. I am worried about what our central defense would look like if Boca or Gooch went down because I haven’t seen any substitutions there recently.

    Bob Bradley needs to stop messing with lineups and just commit to one. Yes, with Adu, Donovan, Dempsey, Bradley, Edu, Torres, Mastroeni (well not any more), Kljestan (if he ever gets his stuff together), Beasley and Hejduk, you have an embarrassment of riches at the midfield position, but sadly it’s doubtful anyone would actually play a 3-6-1 formation. What that really means is that, particularly if we can get Ching back and Casey turns out to be effective in the long run, we will have a very deep team without losing a lot of talent in going to the bench. Stop trying to shoehorn every single talented player you have onto the pitch and play personnel games. Keep fresh legs at midfield in every match, and we’ll crush the rest of CONCACAF as Hex play drags on and teams start to really run out of gas.

  18. Just a thought:

    We do have some guys playing internationally or have experienced it, so how does it feel to come home to your national team coach knowing your club coach knows better.

  19. I like what the USA did against Honduras, wasn’t the sharp but they play way better than what they did in Costa Rica. UMMM Bob Bradley what happen in Costa Rica that you had to Sub Torres, was it cause he got a free kick from Mr. Donovan, and he started to complaint that all free kick and corner are for him to take. I see that Torres is going to be on the Dog house. Please Ives try to find out what really happen in Costa Rica with Torres or this is going to be another (Cooper and Orozco exile). Bob Bradley need to start playing his favorite players and get the right players on the the field or else you are going to loose your job.


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