The U.S. national team will be looking to take a step closer to a third straight CONCACAF Gold Cup title today when it takes on Panama in the quarterfinals.
These teams have met in the past two Gold Cups, with the Americans winning the 2005 final via penalty kicks, and the 2007 quarterfinals in a tight 2-1 match.
The winner of USA-Panama will take on Honduras, which defeated Canada, 1-0, in the earlier quarterfinal at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.
I will be providing live commentary from the match so please feel free to follow along here. As always, you are welcome to share your own thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.
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FINAL– That's all for me tonight. Please feel free to share your thoughts on tonight's match in the comments section below. Good night.
FINAL– Not that many bad performances from the Americans tonight. Beckerman, Holden, Marshall and Ching all stepped up and gave good performances. Robbie Rogers is probably the one American player who really struggled.
Now the Americans face Honduras in a rematch of the group game won by the United States, 2-0, at RFK Stadium. It will be much tougher this time around because Charlie Davies, Benny Feilhaber and Steve Cherundolo won't be there. All three played key roles in the first meeting.
FINAL– Kyle Beckerman was named man of the match. Very deserving (and nice work by somebody because word I get is Cooper won the initial voting until some common sense prevailed).
FINAL– USA 2, Panama 1. Sad display from Panama, whose players confronted the referee after the match Chelsea-style. Felipe Baloy got a red card and some fans threw stuff.
On the better news. The Americans show heart in overcoming a deficit and beating a game opponent.
120th minute- Clock is ticking.
120th minute- Kudos to Logan Pause for stepping it up late.
118th minute- Heaps with a clutch tackle.
Ching lays off a great pass to Cooper, who for some reason decided to stop his run. He still got a shot off, but what was the stopping of the run?
116th minute- Who will finish off the insurance goal for the Americans?
115th minute- Panama is on fumes and the Americans are maintaining composure.
110th minute- Brad Evans is coming in for Robbie Rogers.
108th minute- Dangerous cross in by Panama after Pearce swung and missed on a clearance.
107th minute- Does Panama have anything left in the tank?
HALFTIME– USA 2, Panama 1. Americans are 15 minutes from the semifinals. Roman Torres wears the goat horns for his Daniel LaRussa-like flying kick of Cooper. Panama is still arguing the call. The really need to see a replay.
Cooper steps up and delivers a quality PK to the inside of the left post. Credit to him for stepping up and taking the kick.
106th minute- GOAL USA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Cooper hits it off the inside of the left post. USA 2, Panama 1.
106th minute- Cooper is taking the PK. Interesting.
105th minute- PENALTY!!!! Cooper just got karate kicked in the stomach. Great call. Terrible tackle.
104th minute- Cooper just can't help himself. If he has the ball within 40 yards of goal, he takes a shot. Does he get paid per shot? He needs to settle down.
102nd minute- That sound you hear is MLS fax machines sending in Discovery Claims on Luis Moreno.
101st minute- Panama is worn out. If the Americans are patient, and keep the ball, good chances will come.
100th minute- Rogers FINALLY beats Moreno, but then gets stripped by the next guy.
99th minute- PEARCE BLAST SAVED!! Nice sequence to give Pearce that shot. Panama's defense is ripe for the beating.
98th minute- Herrera impressed in the 2005 Gold Cup, but never really developed a good club career. Apparently he was never the hardest working player, but the speed and skill are there.
96th minute- Panama corner. Cleared away.
Victor Herrera has come in, his speed on the left will cause problems for the USA.
95th minute- Pause gets cleaned out and again, no card. You have to actually punch someone in the face to get a card if you're Panama.
93rd minute- Marshall tweaks his knee, but walks off and is now back. He looks fine.
91st minute- And overtime is underway.
OVERTIME– Americans have one sub left. It should be Quaranta. You may recall that Quaranta converted one of the USA penalty kicks in the 2005 Gold Cup final against Panama.
OVERTIME– Interesting scene right now. The USA players are all standing in a huddle and taking instructions from Bob Bradley. Meanwhile, the Panama players are all laid out on the field, getting stretched and looking worn out. That definitely looks good for the USA.
END OF REGULATION– USA 1, Panama 1. It's time for two 15-minute overtime periods followed by penalty kicks if there are no goals scored.
92nd minute- When will we see Santino Quaranta for Robbie Rogers? The towel should have been thrown on Rogers a while ago.
90th minute- Three minutes of stoppage time.
90th minute- It's looking like overtime.
87th minute- Baloy knocks down Ching for the 60th time. Free kick.
86th minute- MLS teams need to be lining up to make bids for Moreno because he has absolutely locked down Rogers tonight. I'm sure some teams could use a right back in MLS.
85th minute- Moreno takes the ball from Rogers A-GAIN. Drink.
84th minute- Ching gets a foul called against him. Apparently, if someone crashes into you it's a foul on you.
82nd minute- While I may run the risk of jinxing him, Jay Heaps has had a tidy game today. He's kept himself in good positions all night. To be fair though, Panama hasn't really gone at him.
80th minute- Cooper with an open look and his header is awful. Waste of size.
79th minute- Americans have dominated this half, but this game is still tied. Who will score the winner? Will it be Cooper? Holden? Ching?
78th minute- Tonight's attendance: 31,087. Not bad.
78th minute- Whoa, Holden almost replayed his Haiti goal, but the shot is blocked.
77th minute- Cooper in for Arnaud.
76th minute- Rogers losing the ball to Moreno should definitely have been a drinking game.
74th minute- Ricardo Phillips is warming up and may be coming in soon. Someone remind Bob Bradley not to kick him (oh right, he, like most sensible people, know not to do that).
73rd minute- A nice crowd tonight at the Linc. Philly Union fans are definitely in the house.
71st minute- Panama doesn't look that interested in defending right now. They're giving up space that the Americans should exploit.
70th minute- Panamanian players never miss a chance to get a shot in, do they? And I don't mean shot of the ball.
66th minute- Pearce with a long-dstance shot that doesn't trouble Penedo.
63rd minute- Ching misses just wide, makes some very nice moves to get open.
Baloy earns a delayed yellow card for just FLATTENING Stuart Holden.
60th minute- I've been a bit critical of Pause, but he's put himself in positions to relieve pressure for teammates and has kept the ball moving. No-frills work, but he's getting it done.
59th minute- Who will score the next USA goal? It certainly feels like one is coming.
Clarence Goodson has looked sharp since coming in.
56th minute- The game is getting a bit chippy.
55th minute- Is it me or has Luis Moreno Pwned Robbie Rogers this game? To be fair, Rogers did sent the initial ball in on the USA goal.
54th minute- USA is on the front foot right now. Very confident-looking bunch.
52nd minute- Holden JUST WIDE!!!! Wow. Great build-up by the Americans.
51st minute- Beckerman's goal is his first for the national team. He becomes the eighth different goal-scorer for the national team this tournament.
49th minute- Davy Arnaud lays the pass off to a wide-open Beckerman, who buries the shot. We are TIED.
48th minute- GOAL USA!!!!!!!!!! Kyle Beckerman with a BLAST. Wow
46th minute- A replay of the Panama goal shows that Holden wasn't exactly in position to get that ball out of danger. Just a fluky play.
Panama with a dangerous free kick a yard above the arc.
46th minute- And we're back.
HALFTIME– So what's wrong for the USA? They've had some chances, and some good possession, but they haven't finished and haven't put shots on frame to test Jaime Penedo. One shot on goal isn't going to cut it.
Subs? Quaranta for Pause makes sense. They need to push Holden further up the field to let him go at Panama's central defense. Pause really hasn't done much and his lack of work has been covered for by Beckerman and Holden.
That's the only glaring move I can see. We could see Kenny Cooper at some point, but not right away.
HALFTIME– Panama 1, USA 0. Americans had the better of the possession and chances, but Panama buries one of its few chances and the Americans trail for the second straight match.
45th minute- Marshall lays it to Holden, but Holden doesn't clear the danger and Perez buries it.
45th minute- GOAL PANAMA!!!!! And it's Blas Perez with a beautiful shot. A corner bounces in the area and Perez pounces.
45th minute- Will Goodson be up to the task? Perez and Garces are a handful.
44th minute- Conrad collided with Blas Perez on the play, taking a head straight to the skull. He was wobbly and is still staggering.
43rd minute- Conrad is getting treatment but you wonder if he can go. Looks like Clarence Goodson is coming on.
41st minute- USA corner, looked like a handball not called on Panama.
Conrad is hit HARD. He's dazed.
40th minute- Ching draws a free kick from distance. Holden sends it well wide.
39th minute- Ching earns a corner kick.
37th minute- USA offense has slowed down quite a bit.
Luis Moreno has done a great job on Robbie Rogers so far.
35th minute- Beckerman has gotten a lot of the ball. He's been very active and looks confident on the ball. Yes, he's had some turnovers, but that comes with havinga lot of the ball.
32nd minute- Heaps is holding up well so far. Pause has been largely anonymous. Not horrendous, but not sure he's having much of an impact early on.
31st minute- Nice sequence for the USA, including a nice turn by Ching. Still looking for a good chance in the area.
27th minute- Holden is everywhere. Great work rate this half.
24th minute- Great tackle by Conrad to thwart some danger on a Garces run at goal.
And Blas Perez gets a yellow card.
20th minute- Sharp stuff from Jimmy Conrad, who looks much more comfortable today than vs. Haiti. He played well vs. Haiti, but tonight he's not having to put out so many fires.
17th minute- Holden looking very sharp early on.
14th minute- Panama is just a bit, shall we say, chippy. U.S. team needs to keep its cool. Referee Armando Archundia is known for not being afraid to dish out cards.
12th minute- Jimmy Conrad with a yellow for a shove. That call could wind up being pretty meaningful.
USA moving the ball pretty well.
11th minute- USA corner.
10th minute- Panama can't deal with USA set pieces. Not a good sign for them early on.
9th minute- Americans come so close again. Marshall with a good look
8th minute- Ching with the header OFF THE POST (not Conrad. Comes so close on that Holden free kick.
8th minute- USA with a long distance free kick attempt.
5th minute- Dangerous cross from Panama draws a corner.
4th minute- USA corner.
3rd minute- Pause with an early turnover. Will he be the player who impressed vs. Grenada, or the one who struggled vs. Honduras?
1st minute- We're under way. Panama with an early foul already.
PRE-GAME– The anthems are done and it's time to play. U.S. team looks pumped.
PRE-GAME- Will Panama be as physical with the United States as they were vs. Mexico? I think they'll definitely be on the attack early on.
So who scores the goals today? I'll say Ching and Holden for the USA and Blas Perez for Panama in a 2-1 USA win.
PRE-GAME– Here is the USA bench:
Clarence Goodson, Colin Clark, Sam Cronin, Kenny Cooper, Luis Robles, Santino Quaranta, Brd Evans.
PRE-GAME– The Panama lineup is the usual squad:
Jaime Penedo, Luis Moreno, Roman Torres, Gabriel Gomez, Blas Perez, Jorge Luis Garces, Nelson Barahona, Armando Gun, Manuel Torres, Rolando Escobar.
PRE-GAME– A modest crowd today at the Linc, though the Sam's Amy section behind the East goal looks impressive.
PRE-GAME– So why in the world is Jay Heaps starting? Well, perhaps it was too much to ask Brad Evans, not a natural defender, to handle a start at a position he's still learning, in an elimination game. If Panama did any scouting, they will go right at Heaps from the start. He's clearly the weak link in the U.S. back-line.
PRE-GAME– Here is the USA starting lineup:
Yes, Jay Heaps gets the start at right back today despite having a shocker vs. Haiti. Logan Pause gets a surprise start as well. I thought Sam Cronin looked better.
So why would Bradley go with Beckerman-Pause in central midfield? Panama's central midfield is pretty tough and Bradley clearly wants to stifle the Panama attack.
jloome, I feel for you. I genuinely believe the US has faced some either biased refereeing or just had bad luck with calls quite a bit, and I think Canada’s luck may rival even ours.
Reading most of these statements about Cooper is hilarious to me. The guy lost the ball or did something stupid with the ball nearly every time he touched it. He was selfish and had no idea how to even hold the ball up. The guys 6 foot plus and cant you his head for crap. Yes he had a good 3 min where he caused a penalty and took it well but to say he has any chance of making SA is ridiculous. He will not even be in consideration!
To clarify my earlier point:
It seems some saw my comment as a cooper-is-better-than-ching argument. It really wasn’t. I just think it’s funny that Ching misses a wide-open chance and it’s “aw, Ching JUST missed a difficult shot.” Cooper misses a very similar-looking open chance and it’s: “What was he thinking there?” Similarly, Beckerman’s giveaways just “go with the position.” Adu’s mean he’s having a terrible game.
It just gets a little old. A bad miss is a bad miss. A giveaway is a giveaway. Let’s call it what it is and drop the double standards.
I like him. I understand his contributions. But I’m a little tired of hearing about how he has his hand in every goal. This is only the case because people want to see that (often to prove the point that he’s a valuable striker despite his inability to capitalize on chances). Here’s an example:
Donovan passes to Ching, Ching lays it off for Bradley, Bradley finds Dempsey on the right, Dempsey plays it across and finds Altidore for the goal
…And then we have to hear, “Look! Ching has his hand in another goal! Will people shut up about how this guy doesn’t do anything?” I’m convinced that if you loosened the definition of “hand in the goal” to the Ching standard, you’d probably find a lot of our attacking players have their hands in a lot of goals (as they should).
This is not to take away from Ching’s contributions. Ching is fine. He’s good at holding the ball. He’s good at finding open players. He’s good at drawing fouls. Unfortunately, he’s NOT good at taking chances that aren’t tap-ins. That’s not to say he’s useless…but he is what he is…he’s Brian McBride without the knack for scoring.
Canada jobbed again by a CONCACAF ref. Unbelievable. The littany of obvious bad calls effectively eliminating this country from competition over the last decade is astonishing by any measure.
ives – whats with the anti-cooper agenda? its a little much……
Regardless of the level, Donovan is most dangerous on the quick counter because of his speed and quickness and his sense for the goal.
Not questioning their desire. Donovan sighting comment was facetious. I think he’s an excellent player who can play anywhere in MLS because he’s that much better,even when he’s not playing in his most advantageous spot. Internationally, I think he’s best suited to the flank. Not the best crosser of the ball but I believe adequate and what pace, especially his technical speed. Probably more dangerous tucking in then going to the corner and crossing.
US vs. Italy 2006 World Cup. You saw a lot of Donovan on defense.
Fulham, who have a great coach, have the time with their players to be a better organized team than the USMNT. This is to be expected. Dempsey has has been well schooled. With the USMNT, the players are not as good and the coaches have less training time. Players often are not as familar with each other. Defense is about working very hard, and knowing exactly what you are supposed to do and where everybody else is. If the team organization and discipline is not where it should be, it’s hard to play good defense because you are always hesitant. This makes you look slow and clumsy.
You can question a lot of things but not Dempsey and Donovan’s desire to play for the US team.
Agree on your assessment of Altidore for Confeds. Hopefully this will be a good year for him. I guess my point here is that our most opportunistic scorer currently plays the wing and for multiple reasons, I think Dempsey is better suited to be a striker than a wing midfielder. Conversely, I think Donovan should absolutely be on the wing against international competition. Sure, he can be a striker or CAM against MLS but Confeds showed his worth as a wing. My understanding is that he traditionally wins every fitness contest the US team has in practice (Hejduk second in past) and his pace and skill on the flank will make the other team’s backs stay at home. Plus there was even a Donovan sighting in our own box during Confeds. If he actually is motivated to defend as well as attack, I for one become more hopeful. Dempsey, on the other hand strains to defend on the wing. I know he does it at Fullham (I’d like to see him replace Zamorra at striker) but I think he takes more responsibility to score with the Nats.
This also allows for a Holden on the right with Donovan on the left or a Torres on the left with Donovan on the right. Add the “new” back line which injury gave us in Confeds and some combination of Bradley, and Feilhaber or Jones and we have something. Perhaps the cream will rise to the top.
I suspect the reason you did not see Altidore/Dempsey much at the Confederation Cup is Jozy wasn’t fit enough to go 90 minutes. All things being equal, the starting lineup at the WC 2010 will be the same one that beat Spain. Hopefully, Jozy will be fit enough and in shape enough to go 90. Hopefully, Davies will be coming off a successful year in France. I think there will only be 3 forwards, Jozy, Davies and Ching. Donovan and Dempsey will do double duty as forward/midfielders and they will be backed up by creative midfield attackers like Feilhaber/Holden(?).
The biggest questions are how Jones and Castillo fit in. Jones is known as a defensive midfielder but will he add to the offense? Castillo is apparently a very offensive oriented left back. How does that fit in? How does Torres fit in?
Michael F.,SBI Mafia
Bradley is looking at outside back pool depth for 2010. Heaps is 32 but if he does well, he won’t be too old by next year. Other old defenders like Frankie, Conrad, Boca, Dolo, etc. are under consideration for SA 2010. The jury is still out on Brad Evans, Marvell Wynne and others. My favorite, Simek, has been hurt and is just getting back. The Castillo situation is still to be resolved. As far as I’m concerned, Heaps has shown himself to be a legitimate pool candidate. People forget how awful Wynne looked. He will get better but maybe not in time.
Yes, putting the ball on frame is about skill but even the most skilled players are often unable to apply that skill. The expression is “he missed when it would have been easier to score”. This happens to everyone. If you doubt me go to You Tube and click on “top ten missed soccer goals” or the equivalent.
The deficit you attribute to US players happens to even the best forwards. Does it happen to them more than it does to other countries? I don’t know but I doubt it. Cooper, for one seems to keep most of his shots on frame. Are you saying Ching and Cooper (and Jozy, Davies, Dempsey and Donovan) are not good enough? If so, let us know if you have a better bunch of qualified forwards for the US, ones who won’t miss when they shoot.
“118th minute- Heaps with a clutch tackle.
Ching lays off a great pass to Cooper, who for some reason decided to stop his run. He still got a shot off, but what was the stopping of the run?”
Ching laid the ball off way too late. Cooper had to stop his run because he was off-side. Had Ching passed on time, Cooper could have got to it in stride. Stop playing favorites in your commentary.
Lots of talk of Beckerman and Holden’s play and rightfully so. But, Arnaud had a fabulous game, his knockdown to Beckerman was sublime. I like the idea of he out wide against Honduras in a poor mans version of the rold Donovan plays. Arnaud is class, never really paid much attention to him, but he has a great work rate and makes very smart decisions. Though I don’t think Bradley will go with this line up as that moves Holden to the midfield, where he was less than steller on the defenseive end against Haiti.
My take home lesson from these Goldcup games is that the depth of US soccer has and is increasing nicely. We need to continue to be patient and supportive and I have not doubt we’ll see entry into the top 10 before long.
I agree that the MLS has been great boon to the program and that as MLS grows with true stadiums made for the game, the rate of growth of the US soccer program will increase.
Glans Penez is this year’s Dirty Sanchez.
HAHA get some Ives. Cooper with the game winner. So sorry your favorite Ching couldn’t score. Maybe someday.
Toatally impressed with how this group of MLS players were able to – against a very physical opponent – play some very attractive passing football. It wasn’t consistent but for good stretches of the 2nd half and OT they really showed me something I didn’t think they were capable of showing. If it wasn’t apparent yet…Holden is a notch above everyone else.
Regardless if he has a good play here or there, Heaps should not be on the team, let alone the field. There are plenty of young outside backs that would serve our pool better.
Ching/Cooper is an interesting discussion. Unless Cooper catches fire in the next year, I’m hoping this will be a moot point because I’m hoping Ching will be a reserve player at SA. He’s a known quantity, really not bad at holding up play and passing off and working hard, none of which are bad things but I think he falls short at the international level (and bi int’l, I don’t mean CONCACAF, I mean WC teams).
I would very much like to see Altidore and Dempsey up top. Dempsey is a proven international who scores opportunistic goals in the box. Let him spend as much time ther as possible instead of having his tongue hang out running the wing. This also lets another skilled player into the midfield on the wing, essentially subbing Ching (or Cooper or God Forbid Casey) for that player. Altidore because he has so much upside potential (presuming he can play and advance this year) I know some a re married to the concept of a “target” player and a fast player to run off him but I think Davies lacks tactical awareness and passing ability but would make a great 60th or70th minute sub with that speed running at tired defenders (again,let’s see how he does in France). I think both Jozy and Clint will be able to hold up play when necessary, and both are good in the air. Jozy’s first touch obviously needs to improve.
So those of you whom were bitching about BB’s choices for this tournament now see why this group was called up. It’s our insurance policy and preparing us for the future. Our player pool has gotten very deep and a few stars have emerged. Bob deserves the credit for this and they way we played last night from a strategy perspective. We were down a goal last night and didn’t panic. Hell, I expected us to pull it back considering how we played.
Now, the poor excuses for announcers. I hate on these guys along with John Harkes because they’ve managed to become worse during the period of time they’ve called matches. Bretos actually was ok at one point back in the day when he was the lone Fox Sports World soccer announcer but it’s been down hill for him since. Christopher Sullivan & Harke are both Pathetic. It’s like they have their own brand of American English – and it’s not in reference to their regional accents. I won’t even get started on how they manage to screw up facts and especially in this day and age where a laptop with WiFi puts it all at your finger tips. Someone who knows what in the hell they’re talking about is refreshing and no I’m not referring to like “Sky” announcers because they’re hit or miss big time.
Pete. You’re somewhat misunderstanding what Ching does or really what a striker does. I mean Ching has recently been involved in the build up to a lot of good goals for the USA. Hejduk’s goal against El Salvador, Jozy’s goal against Trinidad and Tobago, Santino’s goal against Honduras, Holden’s goal against Haiti( though that was kinda lucky, OH hey, luck, i geuss it is part of the game), Beckermans goal today. You’re only accounting for the fact that a striker has to score goals. But, like I said, great strikers are involved in goals, not just scoring them. They have to have a good mix of both. No matter what kind of striker you are you have to be able assist goals as well as score them. whether thats a Wayne Rooney drifting out wide, taking a player on and crossing to a Ronaldo, or a Dimitar Berbatov laying a pass off to a streaking Scholes who, in most cases, would blast it at the net.
Putting a ball on frame is not about luck, it’s about skill. My inability to score those goals was a primary reason my 6’4″ carcass was
put in central defense.
Not once when I was scored against did I consider myself unlucky (and thus the striker of the ball full of luck). The goal scorer was better than me on that play.
Strikers not putting a shot on goal aren’t unlucky, they weren’t good enough on that play. George Best, Chinaglia, Pele, Rooney, Ronaldo, and Cristiano, to name a few, all had many moments of not being good enough. However those moments are FAR fewer than Brian Ching’s.
Too many of those moments and the perception observers have of you is that YOU aren’t good enough.
I didn’t stop enough attacks…that’s a reason I’m not good enough at playing soccer. Ching isn’t scoring the goals an American WC2010 candidate should be…that’s why HE’S not good enough.
Ching performs half of his duties well. He holds the ball up for the AMFs to finish. He made the key play on the Beckerman goal, IMHO. He plays forward. He’s expected to put open headers on net. A bird did not get in the way of his attempt. He missed. That effort, then, is not good enough to score.
That happens a lot to Ching. Thus the perception he’s not good enough.
Now, even though I’m not very good at soccer…I’ll still bounce a volleyball off the ground at your feet. 🙂
The US did well to battle from behind to win the match today. Beckerman had a strong 1st gaol for the USMNT and the much mailgned Cooper had a quality goal as well. Congratulations on making the semi’s.
It’s still obvious that Cooper hasn’t clicked with the USMNT, but he has 3 goals in 6 caps (most of them as subs). Even when he doesn’t score he gets lots of chances on goal. As much trash as some people like to talk, stats really do speak.
If it’s obvious that he’s not integrating into the team yet, but he’s still getting plenty of shots and goals, then just imagine how effective he could be if he does start to hit his stride.
Elmore- No, the difference lies in the character of OUR players.
Well, that is what happened tonight. Cooper’s biggest problem vis a vis the USMNT is that Jozy is his direct competition and Jozy, practically indispensable to the US,needs all the work he can get. And I don’t believe both will be in South Africa.
If you are a USMNT fan you will want Cooper to get hot and really do well in the next US game or two. This will push Jozy, who has had little competiton for his place on the USMNT,to do well this upcoming season wherever he is playing. While you are at it root for EJ to get hot as well. Real competition for places can only be a good thing for the team.
Well then if Ching and Cooper are different strikers, why not see how they do next to eachother? Ching does most of the heavy lifting and Cooper does most of the scoring, one only doing the other’s job when called for. It may not be bad for Cooper either, playing alongside a striker like Ching. He might learn to use his god-given size and strength in combination with his skill and shiftiness. Once he does that, he actually has a shot with the Nats.
No Brett Ching is better than Cooper because he knows the things that lead to goals. He knows the players around him. ..
A good striker is involved in good goals, not just scoring them.
Posted by: Isaac | July 19, 2009 at 01:13 AM
Brett,len and Issac,
Ching and Cooper are not the same kind of player. Ching provides an environment where other players can score, or if the opportunity is there, score himself. Perhaps you noticed tonight how many times high balls to him resulted in fouls near the Panama 18-yard box. These provide the US with goal scoring opportunities from a set piece, supposedly a US strong point. He is also good at wearing down defenders. You might have noticed that Panama was pretty vulnerable right up the middle. If you want an NFL analogy, ever notice how if you keeping pounding a defensive line with your running game, it tends to open things up in the 4th quarter?
Cooper is an out and out goal scorer. Brett, his job is to take every half chance and shoot. As long as it is more or less on target, he is doing his job. I am not a Cooper fan because I haven’t seen much of him. He did get a lot of shots in target tonight. This is a good thing. And he takes a shot even if it’s only a half chance and gets it either on target or pretty close. This is also a good thing for a striker. The people who say he is slow may be misled by his size. Big people cover a lot of ground with less movement than smaller people so they look slow. Did you ever see Giorgio Chinaglia? Big guy, no good in the air, “slow”, scored an awful lot of goals. Cooper knows how to use what he has. Whether he is “international class”, whatever that means, is hard to say. He has little chance
of going to South Africa because the US will only take 3 forwards, Jozy, Davies and Ching. Jozy is his main competitor and I don’t see Cooper beating him out. Donovan and Dempsey (and maybe Holden) make this 3 forward concept possible. Also, the US system is inherently conservative and I’m not sure Cooper is as adapatable to the team defense concept as Jozy. Time will tell.
Well spoken Jimmy.
“How is missing an open goal unlucky? Holden missed it. Ching missed it. Unlucky? No. Not good enough? Yes.
Posted by: Fulham Pete | July 18, 2009 at 09:19 PM”
Perhaps you’ve forgotten what it was like to take a shot or two on goal during a game. Scoring a goal is not as easy as you make it sound, open goal or not.
Consider the penalty kick. Technically speaking, if the shooter places the ball properly and the goalkeeper does not cheat, it should be almost physically impossible to miss. Yet countless penalties, vitally important penalties, have been missed by a lot of players, many of whom were twice as good as anyone on the field for the US. Roberto Baggio, John Terry, David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo (perhaps these guys weren’t good enough for you) have all missed very important penalties. And there is a list almost as long of great players who have missed sitters ( ball at their feet, 3 yards in front of goal, no defenders in sight, etc. ).You could be up all night listing those.
Players, no matter how good, even Fulham players, often miss what are apparently easy shots on an “open ” goal. It happens to the best of them. Get over it.
I think the US could have played a little better, but I cant complain with a win. Sorry to see Conrad go down, and I hope he is able to go against Hondorus, if not they better bring in Bornstein, and Clark, to help them on the deffensive end. Also with the way our strikers played I really think that Bradley needs to bring in Altidore, and help us win this tourny, I also feel Kljestan should be brought in for the depth.
Most of the US players tonight did about what was expected. Ching held the ball and when he wasn’t knocked to the ground receiving the ball bad decent passes. I was at the game and the one pass to
Cooper that people thought came late was not Ching’s fault, Cooper got ahead and if Ching had played it earlier, it would have been offside, both players corrected and the result was a decent chance on goal. I though Rogers disappointed, his speed is not enough to blow by the defender and he was unable to handle the physical play he faced. Holden and Beckerman did well winning balls and playing decent passes. Pause looked invisible in the first half but did OK in the second, but not enough in my mind. The biggest pleasant surprise was Goodson, he won every header he was close to and kept his cool while being fouled in the process. Cooper looked a bit clumsy, but did make the run that drew the foul and he converted the PK. Marshall was solid all night. It is too bad Conrad was hurt, except for his lack of pace, I think he is a really first rate defender, seldom caught out of position, calm and is very tidy with the ball.
I saw most of the Canada-Honduras game. Neither side looked very inspiring, Canada did look the more dangerous in the second half, but not enough to really matter. If that is the best Honduras can offer, the US should be able to handle them, if only barely.
Good to see SAM’s ARMY out in such numbers. I remember standing in that section for games going back several years, the most memorable was a small contingent of around 100 at a game in the Rose Bowl vs Mexico in 96 or 97 where we were surrounded by 10s of thousands of Mexico fans, who were very happy with their 3 or 4 – 0 win.
No Brett Ching is better than Cooper because he knows the things that lead to goals. He knows the players around him. He knows that if he plays the ball behind a defense, DaMarcus Beasley will run onto it. He knows that if he lays a ball off at top of the 18 with his back to goal, Michael Bradley will blast it, and he knows that if he plays the ball into the feet of Kenny Cooper, he will take players on, which is exactly what he did. However, Cooper, on that breakaway, didn’t see Ching, and decided to take a difficult left footed shot, instead of playing it across the 6 to Ching, who had an easy tap in. A good striker is involved in good goals, not just scoring them.
Amen Brett. Keep saying it. Dempsey at striker.That lets someone like Holden or Torres run the wing along with Landon. More team skill overall
Ching is better than Cooper, if for no other reason, because he is a 100% effort guy.
Cooper gets lazy, will choose not to challenge for a ball, and takes any half-shot he gets. Ching is a machine, runs for 90 minutes, challenges for every long ball.
Eddie Johnson is ahead of Cooper by a mile at this point as far as call-ups go.
Ching isn’t a guy I’m too fond of, I’d rather Dempsey and Altidore be our top 2 targets. Ching belongs at the MLS level and, like Cooper, just isn’t international quality.
Great game, the Linc ran out of horns! We lent ours to some well lubricated, well painted fans in front of us.
Ching got the crap knocked out of him and still ran all night
Panamanian fans were really cool, sat right behind the major section (Honduras had a ton of fans)
What a Night!
cooper cant handle the international level.
I agree that Ives has bias,so what read or watch anything and there is a bias everywhere.
Cooper and Adu still have a lot of work to do even though I like both.
Herbie, I don’t know that Ives has an axe to grind. He just has his favorites like everyone does. Certain styles of play appeal to different analysts. I just hope he keeps that in mind when writing.
I find Ives commentary frustrating. Every time Adu gives the ball away, it merits another comment. Beckerman gives the ball away and we get a “just goes with the position” post. Ching misses a wide-open shot and we get a “Ching misses just wide.” Every time Cooper takes a shot that doesn’t go in, “terrible stuff from Cooper. That made no sense at all.”
I’m not saying Adu is awesome, Beckerman sucks, Cooper is awesome, and Ching sucks…I just think it’s obvious that Ives has some axes to grind, and he’s going to find a way to grind them no matter what. In any game Adu or Cooper plays, we’re going to get comments on how they’re just not ready (no matter what). Any time Ching plays, he’s going to get a pass. It’s silly.
Once again, this isn’t a pro-Adu or pro-Cooper or anti-Ching argument…I just think all analysis should be level.