Top Stories

USA vs. Slovenia: Match Day Commentary

Us-soccer-fed1 SloveniaLogo


The U.S. men's national team takes on Slovenia today (Noon, ESPN2) in a re-match of their 2010 World Cup draw.

The Americans are in dire need of a victory, and some goals, after going 1-4-1 with just two goals scored since Jurgen Klinsmann took over as head coach.

Here is my Fox Soccer preview on today's match, which points to the U.S. team's dire need to start scoring goals.

SBI will be providing live commentary on today's match so please feel free to follow along here. As always, you are welcome to share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (Commentary is after the jump):


  1. “Klinnsmann and staff get a ton of credit from me for realizing some things and making the adjustments”

    Is that because most national team coaches should be expected to need more than a couple dozen training sessions, untold amounts of film and seven games to “realize some things” and adjust? Or do you just happen to have “a ton” of credit to spare?

    It’s about frickin’ time.

  2. Johnson looked really good. I”m not saying otherwise. However, if Holden can make it back to top shape and speed — not a lock after his injuries — then I still favor Stu. We haven’t really even seen Johnson in the middle. so I’ll reserve judgment there.

  3. Most articulate post in, like, ever. I don’t want to push it, because you sound almost like you know what you’re talking about. (High praise on these boards.) But have you seen Ream since his gaffe? Don’t forget this guy. He’s good for Red Bulls when he doesn’t have to cover for Feet Of Concrete Márquez.

  4. Fantastic showing and it has to be a satisfying result, even if another goal would have been even sweeter.

    I’d like to point something out. Slovenia is ranked 27 USA is ranked 34. France is ranked 15 (but in actuality should be a little higher and will probably crack the top 10 again after the UEFA cup). I know a lot to folks don’t want to hear this, but even giving a +/- differential, USA is more evenly matched against a team like Slovenia that France and is therefore more likely to express itself for a majority of the match (like we saw today). With France (in Paris) we were punching WAY above our weight class and still showed we could hang on–on another day maybe we draw or sneak out a win, but we have shown this against Argentina and Spain. When we face these giants (World Cup Winners who represent countries where soccer is the national sport) to expect anything other than “hold on and counter when you can” is silly.

    We know we can play the role of Rocky and I for one am getting bored by that story line–I’m thrilled we’re playing top competition in these international friendlies, but it needs some fine tuning to allow folks to see and appreciate the talent skill and vision that is developing in the US game. Today we saw a really good picture of the strengths (and weaknesses) of JK’s new approach and I can’t help but think that had a lot to do with the caliber of the opponent.

    Outside of qualifying I’d like to see us face teams like Japan, Chile, Croatia, Turkey (again), Ecuador (again), Paraguay (again), GHANA, South Korea and Peru. Teams WITHIN our weight class, teams that we can really open up against but who won’t bunker down against us and test us defensively. The action in these matches would I think be really open and entertaining.

    Last thought, here’s a side I want to see before the experimenting is over:


  5. Shea’s done nothing in the past two games – against France, and in a 30 minute substitute role. He looked tremendous in previous games and his chemistry with Chandler is something I think we should continue to cultivate. Agree with everything else you said though.

  6. Jeez.. I’m going to have to try to catch the first half. All I was able to see was the 2nd half, starting at the 60th minute, so I missed Johnson’s show.

  7. Holden coming back from injury is no lock, considering his ill luck in that department. Landon and Deuce aren’t 22 years old anymore. A young, skilled, athletic midfielder is certainly exciting, especially if he weighs more than 120 pounds and plays in a top 4 league (unlike Torres).

  8. Actually, I think you are exactly right. Klinsmann seems to be trying to get our squad to play a higher line and pressure.

    In order not to leak goals early he has been playing with two (sometimes in reality three) holding mids….UNTIL TODAY.

    Today we had the right sense of positioning (most of time) out of the diamond and pressure paid off.

  9. It would be pretty outrageous if Klinsmann doesn’t see this. He just can’t keep up and you can’t afford to play two DM’s all the time.

  10. Man, how good is Fabian Johnson? I know it’s only one game, but smart runs forward into good positions, very good touch, smart passing – very impressive. Can’t wait to see more of him. Bradley was also awesome, and Buddle really impressed me. His touch and movement have improved.

    I’d love to see this at some point:


  11. Much better effort today. It was certainly a much more entertaining effort by the boys.

    – Johnson is a revelation.
    – Bradley was tremendous with the ball. Those two were exactly what we have been lacking in the midfield. I’d like to see a MB at D-Mid and Johnson at CM pairing.
    – Beckerman was horrific in every phase of the game. He looked completely lost. I’m hoping he goes to Europe, shapes up his game and we don’t see him for a bit.
    – Chandler with a really rough game – not staying in line with his mates, but we have to expect some growing pains since he’s playing that position for the first time.
    – Great goal from Buddle. While he didn’t do much the rest of the contest, his presence was enough to open things up for others.
    – Deuce with typically clever, tough, and versatile game.
    – Jozy with a subpar effort, making some nice passes and winning possession on occasion but also missing some chances. On the positive side, he ran hard the whole match, even to the last minute which is something I haven’t seen from him.
    – Poor defensive effort, but some of that is due to new formation that they aren’t used to. Klinsi should be able to remedy that with training. We seem to desperately need Gooch in there. CB remains a serious issue with age and depth a real problem, especially when Beckerman struggles in front of them.

  12. OK…just wondering…still “failing miserably” after today? 🙂 Sorry, had to ask.

    Also, you never answered the question…what would you consider success?

    Which call ups do you disagree with. The only one I find troublesome is Rogers, but there is a reason that Klinsmann is Nats coach and we aren’t.

  13. A’s for Klinsi putting in Bradley, Johnson, and Buddle.
    F’s for leaving in Beckerman and Goodson.

    Hopefully Klinsmann will finally see, that Beckerman and Goodson should not be locks and he should be bringing in competition for those spots.

    Did anyone notice how easily the USA players were knocked off 50/50 high balls? It could be just fatigue, but I think it’s also poor technique, and Klinsi’s staff needs to work on this. They’re out-muscled by everyone.

  14. Fabian Johnson is new the Jose Torres! USA fans touching themselves every time they see his name in print.

    The kid looked pretty good, but it was Slovenia. Does he start over a healthy Donovan, Dempsey and Holden?

  15. i think going forward into the january camp i’d like to see this lineup for their next friendly:



    ——f. johnson————-bradley—————





    or move fabian johnson up-top, dempsey as the attacking midfielder and donovan as the left-sided midfielder.

    what do you guys think?

  16. Good intel/confirmation from this game and France. Beckerman and and Goodson are not starters, Bradley is. Johnson is a find. Offensive needs a second striker. Shea is highly questionable at this point having done literally nothing.

  17. Interesting. Where should Dempsey play? Up top — instead of Altidore, or with him? Right wing — instead of Donovan, or do you move him up top or centrally? Center mid — what happens when Holden returns?

  18. Good job on offense in the first half. Buddle did very well today. Beckerman is too slow for the U.S… In the second half for 20 minutes we were awful.

    Goodson is decent, but has yet to convinced me. The Gooch is our best option when not injured. Orozco or Goodson? How many goals has each one allowed when they start? Orozco or Goodson, there is no upgrade or downgrade with either.

    Fabian, Buddle, Jozy, Demp, Dolo, and Bradley looked well..Chandler was decent, him going forward a bit too much side tracked him on defense. No biggie. He is still our Marcelo.

    Fabian is my player of the game.

  19. I am getting tired of these yellow cards on take downs that are purely to prevent a breakway. The guy that took down Dempsey should have been red carded.

    Well we looked better, but in that 2nd half we could not maintain any kind of possession.

  20. Look — the middle will go to Stuart Holden when he’s healthy. So, it’s worth seeing what Johnson can do on the wing. Would allow Klinsi to try Donovan up top.

  21. We have Bradley, Jones, Williams, Edu, with a healthy Holden he can play CM just like in Bolton, I just don’t see how Beckerman should be in the same list of these players.

  22. i’m definitely not just trying to argue with you. like i said in an earlier post, i like beckerman. i’m not one of the guys here who will just say that he doesn’t belong because of who he is. i think plays well for real salt lake, but from the france game where he turned the ball over time and time again and this game where he’s dropped too deep, he hasn’t played well. i’ll never question his effort because he does work hard, but i don’t see the point in anticipating blocking a shot when the player was facing away from our goal and boca was behind him thus taking that option away. i feel that he should’ve been looking at the player who was just a few yards away and kept his eye on him. i don’t think beckerman is done in the u.s. jersey, but i would like to see jones start in january instead and see how he does.

  23. It’s a win, but despite the victory and weather conditions, I hope I never see a 2nd half as sloppy and lackadaisical from the Nats like that again.


Leave a Comment