By JONATHAN VERA
PASADENA, Calif – On a night when there were few bright spots for the U.S. men's national team in its Gold Cup Final loss to Mexico, perhaps the only true positive was the performance of Freddy Adu.
A surprising selection to the U.S. starting lineup, Adu didn't disappoint, helping set up both of the United States' goals in his first national team start in more than two years.
Adu made his 2011 Gold Cup debut in the semifinal match against Panama coming in as a substitute for Juan Agudelo in the 64th minute. He promptly help set up the eventual game-winning goal, making an impact that led to U.S. coach Bob Bradley giving Adu the start in the Gold Cup final.
"Bob told me to be active and do exactly what I've been doing in training and what I did during the last match,” said Adu. “Just get to the ball to my feet as much as possible and be dangerous while finding space and I was able to do that and create a couple of goals early on.”
Adu took the corner kick Michael Bradley scored on, and he delivered the pass to Clint Dempsey that Dempsey then turned into an assist on Landon Donovan's goal.
“He’s done well since he’s come into camp and you know one thing about him, he wasn’t going to be overwhelmed by the occasion,” Donovan said. “I thought he did a pretty good job. He tired a little bit at the end, but he helped us.”
The loss to Mexico was a tough one to swallow, but the night was bittersweet for the 22 year-old. After years in hiatus from the national team, Adu is happy to be back and hopeful to remain on the squad.
“This was definitely a special night for me, personally it was an amazing feeling,” said a sincere Adu. “Coming into camp after everything that I've been through and just being around the national team again and work my way into the 18 and then on the field.”
“That's something that as a player, you can be proud of, but I didn't do it alone, I had the help of my coaches and teammates who were encouraging me every day."
Good point on the being able to handle physcicality better. I think Turkey has helped him in this respect. The Turks are a tough old bunch.
The biggest thing for me wasn’t the piece of his game when he was going forward – it was his tracking back on defense. On more then three occaisions did he steal the ball coming back into his own half. This was the HUSTLE that was the missing piece of his game. Hope he keeps it up – and I hope those 120 minutes of football are enought to get him out of the Turkish Second.
Unless you are blind, both US goals were against the run of play. They both required skill and were a great example of counter attacking, but…
There were at least two goals coming from the MEX side. They were dominating with their skill and speed, no doubt. Putting Bornstein in made it worse, but lets not pretend they didn’t have chances prior to his injury.
Add Holden and Chandler and we will play better. Granted Mexico was better than Bornstien.
MB’s header was world-class. That technique, ANY striker or goalscorer will tell you, is extremely difficult. Far-post nod headers are NOT easy; real-life isn’t FIFA my man.
Donovan’s goal was a class strike with his WEAK foot that was the result of some excellent movement on the part of multiple players on the pitch. Adu on the ball, then Deuce on the ball, and a great run by Landon off the ball.
I understand that you are probably frustrated with our performance, but if you think those were ‘lucky’ goals, you know absolutely nothing about soccer, and you’re just a bandwagon fair-weather USA critic.
See you in Columbus in February 2013. Temperatures below 40… they don’t stand a chance.
How many idiots were online when Freddy was still a teenager and saying that he should never see the field again for the USA. How stupid! How many players peek at 19? Not too many.
Not his best night last night, but the kid had a pretty good tournament.
jose is stoked right now.
Time to finally bring in Whitbread, well as long as he stays healthy, a full year in the Premier League at CB, will be a great experience for him and I hope he does well. No idea what his speed is, be nice to have a faster CB who can recover quickly, we were getting beat bad. Also a backup for Lichaj would be nice, but I guess Chandler would have went to RB had he been there.
Zak Whitbread, I add to the CB’s, I don’t know his speed though, so he might not be much better than Goodson or Boca, but next year starting in the Premier League should help
Yep, and until we escape the echo chamberof fire bob Bradley and parroting comments we read from other columns (if you can call the diatribe you’re quoting from Y A an actual column) we’re not going to take our observations of the game “to the next level” either
This should be a lesson to all of us, because I have been guilty of it to, who are way to quick to judge young, still developing players. Another lesson would be Gio Dos Santos, who has bounced around clubs (albeit at a higher level than Freddy)and was ridiculed by the Mex-Am t.v. guys here and then has really come on to be a good player. Not Barcelona good, but CONCACAF great. So let’s give the young blood some time to forge in the fire before calling them failures.
Except Johnathan Bornstein, I respect the guy for giving it his all for the colors but he should not be called up again, especially since he doesn’t even play left back anymore. It’s time to try Jorge Flores, Brek Shea, anyone else to be Lichaj’s backup.
Is this a joke?
What I meant is that they didn’t try to strip him off the ball as if they knew they wouldn’t be able to.
I was at the game as well. Bob did not put our best players on the field. Bornstein was simply abused all night and had no business on the team much less the pitch. Bob needs to go. With that said, there is a lot to be hopeful for. Adu was absolutely amazing. When Holden comes back, I would push Dempsey and Donovan to forward in a 4-4-2. With Adu and Holden distributing we will be way better with the ball. Lichaj was good (with one bad clearance) and Chandler is a beast. Hopefully we can figure out the central defense.
Freddy hits lefty, and is a great set piece taker. Notice that Freddy and Donovan split the corners depending on which side they were. That free kick was a in a better spot fro a lefty to take a shot on goal.
Did anyone count the number of giveaways Lil Brad had in our 1/3? There were ALOT. He is great in open field and holding/tackling in ‘mid-field’, but his distribution and transition from our def 3rd going foward cost at least (2) goals in the tourney.
I take your point to a degree, but at the same time we were up 2-0 in a final with implications for 2014 and couldn’t close – there is reason to be a tad distressed.
Playing Jones at all is even worse when you realize he is 5 years older than Mo Edu.