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The SBI Podcast: Episode 7 (A look back at the USA-Honduras qualifier)

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It was about as disappointing and lethargic a performance as we have seen the U.S. Men’s National Team and while it was one to forget for American fans, the latest episode of The SBI Podcast breaks down Honduras’ 2-1 win against the United States.

Co-host Garrett Cleverly and I discuss the match, including the American players who disappointed, what’s next in qualifying and we also look at the rest of the CONCACAF group. We also hear from U.S. National Team goalkeeper Tim Howard, as he gives us his take on what went wrong.

Here is Episode seven of The SBI Podcast:

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What did you think of the show? Still can’t believe how badly the U.S. played vs. Honduras? Did you agree with Howard’s take on how things went? Are you confident the Americans can turn things around?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. The ladies are playing some great flowing soccer against Scotland tonight. Also get to see some new faces – Press (two goal debut!), Mewis, Averbuch. And of course LeRoux. Glad I don’t have to watch Arod, Mitts, Buehler or Le Peilbet. I think Rapinoe will play on the 13th.

    Unfortunately, Morgan took a knock and was helped off. Hope it’s not bad.

  2. Frankly, our Germ-Americans weren’t suited for these type of games, specially with only 2 days of rest from their club games and travel. To say we didn’t have grit is just wrong, are you going to tell me Bradley wasn’t trying? a player that we all know gives it all each and every time he plays for us. Also, how can anyone try to make a point that our Nats team had two bad games in a row (Canada) is also wrong. practically two different teams. If we lay an egg vs CR then you ring the fire alarm.

    • Not to pour gasoline on a fire (to continue your metaphor), but the one thing in common between the two teams, aside from Eddie Johnson, is the coaching staff.

  3. I didn’t see the game but I followed it online. When I saw the second half subs I knew we were in for trouble. Fitness had NOTHING to do with our loss. I’ve looked back to previous games through 2011 and notice a pattern when we play poorly and lack possession. We have too many unskilled players on the field. These are the players I’m referring to: Agudelo, Altidore, Edu, Ream, Spector, Klesjtan, Beckerman, Shea and Rogers. The lack of possession and losses are: Paraguay 2011, Panama 2011, Costa Rica 2011, Jamaica 2012 and Honduras yesterday. All these games had one thing in common: a few a these players were on the field at the same time. I’m not saying they’re bad players individually for their club team, however if you put them all together you give up possession, start chasing the other team, get tired, look unfit and lose games. Too many Americans although fit and athletic have poor first touch and passing. Klinnsmann said he wanted players that know what to do before they get the ball. None of the players above have that. Lets take advantage of our good defense and goal keeping. And use possession oriented players in midfield and forwards including Mexican Americans(possession is their strenght).

  4. I’ve tried to remain positive about Klinsman but I’m now thoroughly disgruntled. He just seems clueless about tactics, motivation and how to create a TEAM that fights for each other. The fact that all these Germans are playing in a crucial qualifier, when they haven’t been playing together and frankly stunk up the field is a case in point.

    Say what you will about Bradley or Arena but they were experienced coaches with winning track records who knew how to win when it counted. The hallmarks of American teams have always been hustle, scrappines, and energy. None of this was evident in Honduras.

    Klinnsman failed miserably at Bayern Munich and only did well in the World Cup because he was playing at home, had great personnel and an easy draw. All of this discussion about which players to use is irrelevant if you don’t have a coach who knows how to create a TEAM. Klinnsman benches Altidore, insults Dempsey and brings in his German/American pets who are clearly not ready to die for the team, flag, etc. Ever wonder why Donovan isn’t so keen to suit up for JK? He had a taste of him at Bayern Munich.

    Klinnsman is cluless, and Gulati even more so for hiring an inexperienced coach. Losing to Honduras is embarassing and he should be fired before we lose another quaifier.

  5. this is too soon perhaps, but i think if we put on another flat performance at home, if we lose, that we need to start talking about away in mexico as a must not lose for JK. i am looking farther down than road than i probably should, but i am not trusting the driver very much at this point. if we get two loses with few sparks of life, we should consider rehiring. give them two months to prepare, and a week of camp, and we might lose in jamaica, but we would learn from it and have a good shot at panama, and things could gain momentum. i fully admit it might be a bad, nfl-minded move. if we wait til after the mls season, could we might be able to get a chance at arena again, huh? bradley was a good, stoic manager, i think just a bit too pragmatic for me.

    • I would take Bradley any day over a tactically clueless JK who has no idea how to create and motivate a TEAM. Bradley’s teams would fight for him. JK brings in his German mercenaries and demotivates players. He needs to go.

      • you realize that bradley was the one who first called all of these american germans, right? if they’re ‘german mercenaries’, they’re bradley’s, too.

  6. BRING BACK THE 4-4-2
    With actual Left and Right MF./Wingers willing to take players on.
    Donovan- Bradley-Jones-Shea?
    Deuce- Jozy
    This is obviously pending the returns of Shea and Donovan. If not I’d probably put Zusi and Eddie Johnson (at least he’s willing to take on players) at LM/RM. And I would take out Jones from the lineup with someone more creative but I doubt JK would do that. Deuce in the withdrawn forward role and then Herc subbing in during the 2nd half.

  7. ——-Jozy—-Dempsey——–

  8. I have this thing with Kljestan where I keep hoping that his next Nats peformance will reveal his true ability. Unfortunately, his true ability is pathetic. I know he has great form at Anderlecht but it just doesn’t translate. As Randy Jackson would say “Sorry, dude, but this ain’t your thing.”

    That said, almost all of the Euro players looked flat on Tuesday. We got flat out dominated. That Bonier-Garcia (sp?) character was all over the field and looked to be amped up on a performance enhancing substance when compared to the sweaty and lethargic US side.

    The Concacaf ref didn’t help, letting our guys get bowled over with rhythm breaking challenges and then adding just 3 minutes stoppage time. Of course, adding more time might have translated into more goals for Honduras, so this is only a partial gripe.

  9. Just think JK needs to come to terms that even though our best talent/depth is at the DM position, we cannot plug them in elsewhere. They ended up at that position for a reason. You can only bring 4, and only 2 are allowed to start. To me no-brainer that Bradley and Jones are 1/2. Jones just needs to be put back where he belongs to succeed again. Bradley / Jones / Edu / Williams / Torres / Beckerman.

    Also, understand that Boca’s time may be nearing the end as a starter. Just think Besler is the right name for LCB. Let Gonzalez/Cameron duke it out for RCB.

    Lastly, anyone else think it might be beneficial to move Dempsey back out to a slightly wider position? Just seems like something is lost when he is plopped down as a support striker.

    • love all your thoughts, but think it depends on who replaces dempsey as the 9-style on whether we can let him attack off the flank. i would like to see a top four diamond like this:


    • @Steve: I think that is the key point, Klinsmann’s plugging DMs all over the pitch and just is not working. And the guys you name ( Bradley / Jones / Edu / Williams / Torres / Beckerman), Gulati needs to telephone Klinsmann and say: Listnen, Jurgen. Enough of the DM stuff. From now on, you can only put two of those guys on the field at the same time. Next time you put three at once, you are fired.

      Why is it that, we, the fans, see this and Klinsmann doesn’t. I wonder what the guys on the team think of the D-Mid strategy. Probably the d-mids love it the attacking midfielders hate it.

  10. There were four German born players in the starting line-up and we still sucked. I would rather lose with players that are home grown.

      • so be it, it still doesn’t mean you bring where they grew up into the discussion. listen, i can tell you that the great majority of people that fight for us are patriots in the ways that matter, and just because they are overseas doesn’t mean they aren’t ‘mericans, and raisin’ ‘mericans, ‘mkay? we should hold a special nationalistic pride in these players, not care about what language they speak best, or other trivial things.

      • But these arent soldiers who sacrifice for our country. These are kids that grew up in Germany, most without their American fathers, that havent spent a second in the US soccer system. They have no idea whats it like to grow up rooting for a NT that is constantly ridiculed abroad and domestically and they have no idea what its like to play a sport barely accepted in the USA. How can you expect locker room cohesion when these players cant even speak english? How can you expect a NT based on equal opportunity when Chandler is able to walk into the team after turning the US down and have an absolute horrible game?

    • I agree. But mainly that these guys are essentially foreign mercenaries who only play for US because they’re not good enough for Germany. Do they really have that fight to the death attitude for the USA that has been the hallmark of American teams? Plus do they help the team be more cohesive? Finally, it’s kind of insulting to American born players, Klinnsman seems to feel that they’re so much better. But they’re not. He snubs MLS and is a bad coach.

      • Chandler and Williams are Americans and deserve to be on the team if they are good enough. Where someone is born should have no impact on their selection to the team.

        That said…..

        Having players on the team who are not loyal to the US and passionate about representing our country is insulting to not just the other players but to all Americans. I’m not saying that is the case with Chandler or Williams because I don’t know. But if it is, I don’t want them respresenting me. I’d rather lose with Americans than win with mercenaries.

  11. Ives- while you make many sensible points, I noticed that you really didn’t get much into Klinsman’s tactics (granted I didn’t listen to the very end). We had very little width/crosses and did very little fast counter attacking. These used to be the things that US did better than anybody in Concacaf, so why are we always playing to possess and attack right up the middle. Honduras and other concacaf teams play that way and do it better than the US. I hate to bring up Bob Bradley but tactically he played to our strengths and what would give us a comparative advantage over other teams. It wasn’t the prettiest, but it got us big wins not only against concacaf teams but also against Spain and nearly against Brazil when it counted. At a certain point, should Klinsman say, we have to do things tactically that will give us the best chance of winning right now, not what will hypothetically help us advance to the next level, many years from now.

    • i agree about klinsmans lack of focus regarding qualifying/building for the future. we need grit and experience in there for those away games, we need cohesiveness in general for games like this, and he ignores that in the build up. and we have to press when we are in a 4-3-3 or lack wide players in the midfield, i saw none for most of the game, especially on the the flanks. timmy handled the interview like a true analyst and diplomat.

  12. While I agree that Jermaine Jones has outlived his usefulness for the US, the answer is certainly not Maurice Edu (even with his increased playing time with Buraspor). Have we all forgotten how awful Edu has been in a US shirt for the most part?

    I’m sorry, a 20-minute stint doesn’t erase the previous 8-10 appearances from Edu with the National Team. Same for Kjlestan. I don’t understand the love for this guy. Another player who’s international track record has been poor at best (hat trick against Sweden being the exception)..

    Danny Williams’ lack of league time certainly has affected his performance. However, he’s still the best defensive midfielder to plug in front of the back four. I like Beckerman as much as the next guy, but he just doesn’t cut the mustard internationally.

    • disagree about edu’s track record with the nats. he’s been consistenlty solid when placed in a defensive role, either as a dm or centerback. He’s laid a couple eggs when put in a more advanced, or two-way midfield role, which he’s clearly not suited for. Danny williams, on the other hand, has only had one good game that i can recall (home vs jamaica) and plenty of stinkers. going forward, edu should start and danny needs to get things going for club before he sees the field.

      agree that kjestan’s never impressed all that much, but i don’t think we have any obvious midfield choices other than edu and bradley. i think a couple of things need to happen to pump up the midfield and have any kind of shot in brazil: holden comes back at full strength, landon comes back, and/or shea comes into his own……

    • Yeah Ives loves him some Edu for some reason.

      Can we PLEASE stop talking about replacing Jones/Edu/Williams/Beckerman with some over one of Jones/Edu/Williams/Beckerman and instead have some attacking midfielders out there. Jesus….

      • Edu has actually performed in a world cup. Id rather have Edu who can tackle well instead of take a hundred touches Jones and worthless Williams. But it doesnt really matter because Bradley should be paired with an attack minded midfielder

    • I still think the DM position should be:


      Jones is an engine, hard tackling, decent passer. He has never really played as a strict, disciplined DM. He’s played the number 6 or 8 for Klinsi and in a two-man midfield under Bradley.

      Williams was out done against Russia and again against Honduras. However, before that he was immense and everyone including Ives was praising him. Fans, let’s not one or two games force our hand. We dealt with two years of Bradley’s errors before he became the CM we love today. Williams needs games at club level and more international experience.

      Now if he doesn’t get time at club level, then let’s talk.

      I hope to see:


      next month.

      • good mid triangle, i think it’s evident we need a central creator and distributor, and benny is the most experienced international we have that fits that role.

      • I pray we see something like that, we need to start playing these guys in the positions that are natural for them. We keep trying to fit square pegs into round holes, we have the pieces to play everyone in their natural position, and our team would be much better that way. What team I would pick for Costa Rica:

    • wish i could hear the podcast (workplace doesn’t allow streaming), because i’d love to hear the rationale for moving on from jones.

      to me, the issue (which seems to be common) is that he’s not being played in his ideal position. he doesn’t have to be a purely defensive mid, but there should be very few circumstances where he is consistently in a more advanced position than another mid.

      he is not a good creator (although he does have moments), but he is a great destroyer–better than anyone else we have. he should sit in front of the defense (not edu or williams), and connect our cbs with bradley and another more creative player.

      • to add on to that:

        in the rare circumstance where we’d want an advanced destroyer (such as playing against a pirlo-type), i think bradley is more than capable of filling that role, so now i can’t think of any case where we would want jones further upfield, instead of protecting our back line.

      • I never said a word about “moving on from Jones”. I said Edu should start over Williams. Jones didn’t have a good game but he’s still a starter IMO.

      • Nate Dollars and Josh D are both spot on. Jermaine Jones is a tremendous asset to the USMNT, either as a starter or a sub. Unfortunately, Klinsmann is trying to turn him into an attacking midfielder, which he is not. He should be put back as a classic Number 6, only joining the attack on rare occasions when opportunity knocks.

        IMO, Jones put in a better performance then both Williams and MB, who had on off day, probably his worst USMNT performance since the first game under Klinsmann against Mexico in 2011. Plus, Jones’s pass to Dempsey was of the most beautiful passes ever in a competitive USMNT game and Clint’s volley absolutely exceptional. Any other player than Jones makes that pass and that would be the talking point of the talking heads and all else would be forgiven.

        I, for one, hope that Jones can keep up his form and be a part of the USMNT for Brazil. Unlikes some players, Jones has been a faithful servant of the team now for well over two years, always making the trip over and always giving everything he has and he deserves a bit of gratitude now and then.

    • When did I say Jermaine Jones has outlived his usefulness? My point on Edu was that he should start over DANNY WILLIAMS.

      • bradley is clearly the 8, and i think that makes jones clearly the 6. because right now, our pure central midfield players class and experience is pretty apparent. i think, considering the role JK likes from the position, we should place on our center spot these men, in this order: bradley, jones, edu, beckerman, williams, cameron, benny/torres/who cares. jones as a number six is supremely versatile. he can play the long ball, play one touch, can get forward, can smother and frustrate attackers…i think the primary problem is the limited function/style JK wants from his CDM

      • Okay but how about NOT playing with Bradley, Jones, and one of Edu/Williams, but instead having a less defensive midfielder out there so the us can complete some passes and maybe create more than three chances per game?

  13. Yeah, they had a lot of issues with fitness, heat, and desire, but they at least tried to get a win, unlike the miserable game v. Canada.

  14. “It was about as disappointing and lethargic a performance as we have seen the U.S. Men’s National Team…”

    Well, at least the most disappointing and lethargic performance since the USA-Canada in Houston.

    • Being a WCQ featuring a pretty much full-strength squad makes the Honduras loss far more disappointing than that Canada game.

    • Which was the most disappointing and lethargic since… which was the most disappointing and lethargic since….

      “Bu bu but best winning percentage of any year!!” Yeah we sure look great scraping by with 1-0 wins where we created like three chances because we have three defensive minded midfielders and no one with any attacking creativity like Feilhaber or Diskerud.


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