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USMNT vs. Antigua & Barbuda: Match Night Commentary

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The U.S. Men's National team begins its quest for the 2014 World Cup tonight at Raymond James Stadium with a CONCACAF World Cup qualifying match against Antigua & Barbuda (ESPN).

The USA will look to get qualifying off to a flying start with a convincing victory against an Antigua & Barbuda side that has never bene this far into World Cup qualifying.

The Americans will look to hit stride after a few disappointing performances against Brazil and Canada. Jurgen Klinsmann is trotting out a strong lineup tonight, with a few surprises as he makes due with a group missing its top two left back options.

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

Enjoy the action (Tonight's commentary is after the jump):


  1. I’m pretty sure he’s been a golden boot winner and an MVP for his club. I have my own issues with Donovan, but I can’t share your opinion that Donovan deserves to “pay the price” because he chose to play for a club in his home country. How do we develop a strong domestic league if all our decent players are criticized for not playing overseas?

  2. Except for that yes… And his age… And size. His sometimes overly unselfish attitude and lack of desire to be THE man and his lack of desire to challenge himself to the utmost of his capabilities and his lack of aggression at times is similar, though.

  3. Because Torres is NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT a left back!!! He is a BAD defensive player. When you play a guy at a defensive position that CAN’T play defense, it means you are DESPERATE for offense.

  4. LOL at these comments…THE SKY IS FALLING…

    I did not have the luxury of watching the game live. After reading all of these “reviews and comments” I was a bit tentative about actually viewing the recording. Glad I did. The knee jerk commentary is humorous.

    The USMNT dominated the game in sloppy conditions. Sure, they were far from perfect but the comments suggested they were “lucky to survive” which is a JOKE.

    The truth is A&B is essentially their USL pro team w/ a handful of English League vets. Their USL coach is also the Natl Team coach. You could see that this team was very organized and disciplined and had obviously played together. They were also athletic enough … not technical … but athletic enough to cover ground in defense. They played 10 and 11 men behind the ball for long stretches of the game. What saved the game from being a rout was some timely saves, the cross bar and some near misses.

    Was the USMNT perfect? NO WAY. They need to solve the middle of their D in a hurry … the Gooch mistake was horrific. However, people need to get a grip and comment after a REWATCH rather than just after a match. That way you get analytical comments rather than emotional ones.

  5. Please, please, for the love of God, send Gooch & Edu back to their clubs. Moreover, take Wondo, Parkhurst, & Beckerman with you!!! All of them slow, and pathetic soccer players at the international level.

  6. I suspect I know far far more than you. And yes you did mean to be rude. You make an ignorant comment with no explanation at all. How about this? I don’t mean to be rude, but are you even human? Imbecile.

  7. not really man, after the subs yes, but he and Gomez were being interchangeable… not sure you saw who was being feed the ball and creating space. seems elementary

  8. Because he is a better player than Gooch and Cameron. If you cannot see how Gooch lumbers on the field then you are blind.

  9. Gooch is coming off a second knee injury, the first took a while but he got back to full fitness. If you willing to blindly think Holden will come back why won’t gooch after time. “veteran card” he was our best defender and can be a monster when healthy. Edu is a very good player. I don’t in any way think he is error prone, and has been clutch with goal scoring in the past. He is not the most skilled passer and if we move to a 2 man midfield he will get the drop but I think that your being very unfair.

    As for being error prone how about camerons own goal 3 games ago?

  10. Good luck winning with your mentality fanboy.

    How can I criticize Donovan? Are you nuts? You actually praise him because he doesn’t show up for his MLS team but he shows up “more often than not” for the US? Wow. It’s too bad soccer is such a chore for Donovan. It seems he is spreading his attitude to other players on the Galaxy and the US.

  11. How can you not praise Bradley or Torres? The shot at Donovan is unwarranted as well. He’s a quality player regardless of what club he plays for, and he shows up more often than not when he wears the RW&B.

  12. Right on – I think you are the same person I agreed with after the last match. USA had lead feet well before the end of the game.

    I think the midfield players are themselves confused about what Klinsmann wants or where to be (maybe this is because he keeps switching things up). The playmaking is off because of this and it makes Dempsey and Donovan less effective. Not sure what changed (besides fatigue) after Scotland.

  13. Fitness isn’t keeping the US from being a World Cup contender. But Klinsmann did make a big mistake overtraining the players after most of them finished long club seasons. If you watched Behind the Crest, you’ll also know that Klinsmann put them through physical battery before the on-field training began.

    I think his intentions were good, to integrate the players and build a good chemistry, but his strategy with players in the friendlies was a bit strange.

  14. neither Boyd or Jozy looked any good. At least Jozy didn’t squander any balls because he didn’t get a chance. Gomez looks to be the starting CF for the next few games.

  15. If there were any doubts about the victory against Scotland being so lopsided because Scotland wasn’t interested and was basically on a vacation, they have been removed.

    Reality is what we have seen in the past two games from the US. They have been disgraceful. Today’s game was a new low. The defense continues to be a joke. The offense continues to be a joke.

    The only player I would credit at all for the US team today was Hercules Gomez. Not just for his play but the incredible patience and tolerance he displayed to avoid retaliating against that orange haired thug who should have come nowhere near finishing that game, was amazing.

    I know it’s early but it really doesn’t look like this group of players is going to cut it.

    Remember when the US national team used to play with intensity and desire that was admired around the world? We are seeing now how important that element of their game was in making them a better team.

    What has happened? Is it that so many players now have nice contracts overseas and playing for the national team just isn’t that inspiring anymore? Are too many players sure they have their positions locked in and don’t need to put out that much effort a of the time?

    I think I would rather see a collection of players who really want to play rather than guys who constantly backpedal towards their own goal in the face of mighty teams like Canada and Antigua and Barbuda.

    Apart from their play, character is another reason the US team needs players like Stuart Holden. It’s hard to imagine Holden playing half a*sed and bored. People will say I’m crazy but I think it’s a mistake to let players like Landon Donovan fail (goof off, whatever you want to call it) so miserably at the MLS level and not make them pay the price for it by keeping them off the national team.

  16. I wouldn’t worry just yet. Could just be an off night or a difficulty implementing Klins’ new style of play. Absolutely a poor showing but lets give them a few more games before we worry.

  17. Do you really think its a fitness problem (not trying to be snarky, honest question)?

    Since ’94 it’s never seemed like fitness was an issue with any iteration of US NT. But maybe getting to the next level requires a higher gear than just “good” fitness. I don’t know.

  18. Gooch can only ride the veteran card so far. He gives away the ball, positions himself poorly, and lapses in concentration every time he plays. Edu has a chance to go, but I don’t think he will be in the best 23 in 2014. Holden will be back, Torres will shift into midfield, Dempsey seems destined for stints in the midfield. Why keep Edu who is the most mistake prone player we have?


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