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Howard speaks his mind

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Tim Howard has never been afraid to call things how he sees them, so when I spent some time with him on his 31st birthday on Saturday he didn't hold back when discussing everything from the national team to his own potential return to MLS.

Here is my piece for on Howard. Thethoughts should certainly spark some conversation among U.S. soccer fans.

Give the story a read and feel free to share your thoughts on it in the comments section below.


  1. I think what you are hearing or feeling is the frustration with the continous nitpicky, feckless criticisms of Bradley (on the left back issue, for example) when it is pretty clear that there aren’t any good answers to the question. For example, anyone who plays left back for the US at this point is a temporary, jury rigged, makeshift answer. The lesser of a bunch of evils.

    Given that then at least Bornstein has continuity going for him. I’m not defending Bornstein, I’d drop him, move Boca in there and then put Rogers on the roster and convert him to left back. But I can see why Bradley stays with him.

    For some of the Bradley critics whichever answer Bob picks has got to be the wrong one, when sometines there aren’t any good answers. These are the same people who will maybe acknowledge that our player pool is far below that of Brazil but are mad because Bob won’t have them try to dribble or pass their way through the Brazilian midfield.

    These are the same ones who will tell you that everything bad about the USMNT is Bradley’s fault and everything good is a result of the players alone. They will tell you that when Torres does well he proves Bradley wrong but when Torres does poorly it’s because Bob plays him out of position or doesn’t play him enough and then throws him in at the deep end against a tough team like Holland.

    Bradley is not immune to criticism but when you stack him alongside his critics,who, in the main are lazy and stupid, it’s hard not to get tired of the inept criticism.

    There is a thing clled a search engine. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to research the USMNT and soccer in general. I’d be a lot happier if some of these people knew some of the basic facts about the US players.

  2. I understand that no one is explicitly saying, “Bradley is immune.” But in effect, that is the message being delivered. For example, when I was saying, “Frankie really looks bad out there. I think Spector should be given a shot.” Everyone would shoot it down and say, “Don’t you think Bradley knows best? If Spector really were the better option, he’d be playing.”

    I’m not saying there aren’t unreasonable critics out there. I just feel more and more, every remotely critical remark about Bob Bradley is being thrown into this category of “coach bashing,” when sometimes, criticism is perfectly reasonable. I think it’s really hard for anyone to say anything bad about the guy without being written off for being a Bradley hater.

  3. Why would you “LOVE” to hear it? I said if it were my call to make, this would be the setup I would use. I didn’t say that I took it as an example from another team, although I’m sure, with all of the leagues and divisions in the workd, there’s a team out there who has played with a formation such as this.

  4. gotta get that CAM in there, right? A 3-1-3-1-2? What team in the world plays with that formation? I’m so pissed I saw this comment this late, I would LOVE to hear your answer on this.

  5. Once again. Ives, You don’t say we can’t have our own opinions but you act like were crazy or “HIGH” to have them. Just as you say we are guilty of being anti-Bradley, you seem to always “rant” how you support Bradley. Your just as guilty. This response of yours from this article seems to be a gloating moment of “look, see I told you, even Tim Howard agrees with me.”

    As for Tim Howard being PC. Any athlete knows that going after his coach in the press is stupid. If you are as IGNORANT to not understand that, then I’m sorry. I think you need to “come up for air” and be an objective reporter then. Because if you believe everything that comes out of a press release or a player who has much to lose on being on the bad side of his coach by saying something bad about his style, then maybe you should just become a member of the USSF already….

  6. Americans are very formation oriented.

    I suspect this comes from the micro managing coaching styles ingrained in American sports. The truth is formations can only disguise the inadequacy of your players so much.

    In the WC qualifiers befor the Confedertaions Cup Bradley experimented with a 4-3-3 (not so good) a 4-5-1(fair to middling) and then 4-4-2 with Jozy and Casey (fair to middling) The first two Confed Cup games had Jozy playing alone up front but were quickly ruined by those red cards. It was in the egypt game where Charlie and Jozy really set the 4-4-2 off and running.

    By the way this idea that “we all know Davies wouldn’t started if Ching had been healthy” is a bit of an over simplification. After Ching went down Bradley tried a 4-4- 2 with Casey and then 3 games with Jozy alone up top,before giving Davies his shot.

  7. Mike,

    I don’t think anyone is saying BB should be immune to criticism.

    It’s just that the criticiosm is…well lazy and uninformed.

    The phrase I love is “well anyone can see that….”. For example, everyone criticizes Bradley for bringing Torres along too slowly as if they were there the whole time and know exactly how Torres has been doing on the practice field and behind the scenes. Well,to the best of my knowledge none of you guys do know, so you speculate. Where I come from it’s called making stuff up. Or BS.

    No one has more to gain from Torres being a super star than Bradley so it’s reasonable to presume he is doing his best to get the most out of him. If he didn’t think that he wouldn’t waste time calling him up so much. To assume otherwise is either overtly paranoid or just plain stupid.

    And that is what most of the anti-Bradley rhetoric sounds like; not reasoned arguments, just “Bornstein(or Ching, or Casey or Rogers) sucks”. And no one ever offers reasonable alternatives to the situation.

  8. One reason for the inconsistency is that the players and the stakes aren’t the same. Who played against Denmark? Who played against Holland? What was at stake in both games?

    You almost can’t compare the performance of the USMNT in both games.


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