By IVES GALARCEP
SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras– Now is when things get real.
The U.S. Men’s National Team takes on Honduras today in the opening match of the Hexagonal Round of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying (4pm, beIN Sport), a critical game for a group of Americans looking to get off to a strong start before playing two of their next three qualifiers on the road.
It is a hot and sunny day at Estadio Olympico and the U.S. team will be facing a very tough challenge in a hostile environment against a dynamic Honduras team that will be eager to get their qualifying campaign off to a winning start at home.
Here is the the lineup U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has opted to go with against Los Catrachos: Tim Howard (captain); Timmy Chandler, Omar Gonzalez, Geoff Cameron, Fabian Johnson; Danny Williams, Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones, Eddie Johnson; Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore.
SBI will be providing live commentary on today’s match, including updates from San Pedro Sula, so feel free to follow along here. As always, you are welcome to share your thoughts and opinions.
Enjoy the action (Today’s Match Commentary is after the jump):
What stood out from me was watching Honduras’ midfield on the wings and in the middle, on our half of the field, play simple passes towards the penalty area in the air and not all of them were EPL style crosses. They made A LOT of diagonal passes and diagonal runs. Honduras was more urgent to make these runs and passes. Gonzalez cleaned up his fair share of them, but Honduras also made lots of successful completed passes. I believe Gonzalez got his start to dominate the air in the final third. These simple passes turned into 2 gooooools. On the flip side, yin and yang if you will, The U.S. midfield left a lot to be desired. Honduras played a version of what they call in Hockey ‘crashing the net’ with passes and they did so diagonally…excellent game plan and simple. The U.S. can play the same. I remember when Poland played the U.S. and Poland had forwards and midfielders crash the right flank our LB and LM was outplayed. They had scoring opportunities from that kind of play. We can do the same. By the way what are we doing offensively lately?
We’ve never been good enough to go through Concacaf with out some slip ups.On the other other hand Mexico has made enough strides in there level of play to get through Concacaf easily.
Yeah, I am starting to think that JK tactical ability is just not good enough.
Creativity is sorely missed with this team. The Honduran keeper had to make 1 save. ONE save and that was a Dempsey shot from like 30 yards that rolled to him in the first 5 minutes. Can’t win if chances aren’t created. Time to stop calling in 7 DM/CMs. True wingers and creative mids need to get there chance. The Klinsmans era has been CMs and defensive mided players playing out of position.
Klinsmann is not a good coach plain and simple. What is our style of play? The team has regressed under Klinsmann and I’m not talking back to Bob Bradley, I’m talking regressed to before the Bruce Arena era. We have no identity what so ever. Even the effort isn’t there from these players.
It wasn’t a skill issue, it was a desire issue. The US players played with little motivation, the Hondurans played to their potential…we were far from it.
I don’t know if I watch too much premier league or la liga, but surely we can expect better technical ability than what we just saw? The whole game was watching one player after another make momentum killing touches, passes and decisions. It was like a virus that spread from player to player.
I thought Jones was particularly bad. I frankly don’t understand why he plays poorly for the US, but for whatever reason he seems to make poor decisions with too much energy rather than playing under control.
I really can’t complain about Klinsmann’s subs, but I do wonder about the way the team came out. Really out of control, chasing the game, burning energy. Not sure hyper-focus on fitness is a great idea when most to all of your top players are in season with their clubs.
Easy to say in hindsight, I guess.
Klinsmann will need to respond to this, or he will need to be replaced if there is no improvement by game 3. Harsh, but true.
Brad Davis should have played. Maturity, a true winger, and he has played for club in Central America many times. He is calming presence on the ball and able to take on defenders one v one.
We just simply aren’t good enough.Going to every central America nation and getting a result is not realistic.Im sure we will win away in the hex.The key is to win all home games.
Yes it’s no coincidence that a central Amercican team beat us. They have been knocking out our youth teams in major tournaments and now beating the sr team. Look at MLS and youth soccer to see the problem. Real lack of technical ability in MLS. They are offsetting the US team clost to nothing right now. Look at the top us club teams you will see great athletic ability with little technical ability hell we started 4 Germans three of who are better than anyone else we have to offer at their positions and we still sucked. Williams had been benched by go club and yet he plays for us? Cameron does not play CB much for stoke yet he starts there for us ?
For those that don’t like Donovan this game should prove his worth. He was missed on set pieces, only 2 chances were created on however many corners and free kicks the US had. His tireless work rate was missed, most don’t see the defensive effort he brings. Instead we got players lolly gagging around like this is some pick up game. I know the weather conditions were harsh but at least show like you’re trying out there (jones). Also his overall experience in CONCACAF and qualifying. Really hope he decides to suit up for the USA again.
The team looked gassed. I’m sure the conditions and the travel for Euro based players took its toll.
With our depth, I’m not putting all blame on JK. Yet.
Lets see where we stand after the the two upcoming road games.
I’d like to see a little stronger wing play next time and a more concerted team effort, team seemed under-prepared at times and we still lack an identity.
I’ll hope, going forward, that the identity is based around the possession/attack minded football Klinsmann supposedly loves.
Also, hope some of the young guys (or old just down the depth chart) recognize the opportunity they have. I think both wing positions should be in play and one of the midfield positions (Jones I feel, while he has his moments in attack, that brilliant chip, would be better off in Danny’s role). This goes for fullbacks as well (IMO).
Lots of work to do going forward.
Gonzalez sucks. Sucked against Canada. He can’t pass. Mistake to replace EJ with Klejstan. Zusi and Gonzo are not ready.
I’m very disappointed with the loss because we had one point in our grasp, but I’ll wait and see how we fare against Costa Rica before getting too nervous. If we come away from that with 0 or 1 point, I’ll start worrying. LOL.
I thought EJ should have been left in the game, but that’s the only major gripe I had. Nothing major. We just didn’t get the job done when it counted the most.
what I believe JK’s choices reveal is his lack of respect for this region’s games in these qualis, and this region’s away games for sure.
And this opportunity in an away game in which the refs–the Costa Rican refs were great–played little role. But the lack of cohesion in the back came back to bite.
JK likes gambling, some times it’s snake eyes
+1 on your comment about the refs. Excellent officiating in an away match completely wasted by the US.
Haven’t seen much of Chandler, but boy was he bad…..just plain lazy and uninspired. Sure looks like we need Landon back to have a chance at being dangerous, but I don’t think he’s coming back. Not sure what other options we have, if this game was anything close to typical, we are in big trouble. I like Johnson moved up to outside mid, but he was the only defender worth a damn today, so that makes that move awfully scary. Yes, it’s just one game, but it sure was a bad one.
Honduras out played the USA. They earned that win. No complaints there…congrats to Honduras. Time after time U.S. players are being played out of position. Fabian Johnson should be on the left side of midfield…He plays with ‘vision’ and anticipates his teammates very well. Jones should be a Defensive Midfielder and not any other position. I’m going to stop right there. We need a formation overhaul with proper placement of players playing to there strength and greatest ability. WE have seen enough of trying to repeat the past win.
I agree our possession and stringing of passes together was atrocious. I don’t think I would move Fabian up though.
Everytime it’s the same old thing; people crying after a lose. The USA will be in the WC
When will the US coaches learn that no matter the game you still need someone with some sort of creative ability in the midfield? I know the plan is to get the draw or should I say not lose, which is why some of these players were called up. But for goodness sakes how many games do we have to play with no 3 cdm and fail to create many scoring opportunities before they get the picture? Jozy is a good player but is highly ineffective without a decent midflield, clint holds the ball too long than tries to flop to get out of trouble, Fabian is the only playe with anyh type of ball control vision and skill on the field. hut he is wasted as a defender because our attack is so usleless. if we are going to run with these type of line ups fabian needs to play lm or lw. if we play a creative midfield with one cdm fabian would be great at lwb because our build up play would be better and forwards would be involved in attck more. why are we able too see these things on t.v. but the coaching staff seems inept when seeing it first hand? I’m just going to throw out some names here. Mixx, Corona, Morales, Gatt, Shea, Gyau, Tony Taylor, Benny, JOHN ANOTHONY BROOKS, Lichji, and of course ADU. Yes ADU. I’m not saying play the entire U23 team that failed. but add them in with vets like jozy, mb, clint, jones. Please.
Adu not run, Adu not run…….
I’d agree with you on Freddie, IF he actually got himself in shape and played with consistent intensity. He is definitely more creative in the attack than anyone we had out there today, other than Dempsey.
Yeah Adu would’ve died in the heat and humidity of today in the shape he regularly keeps himself in.
JK is struggling with the Bradley generation. JK has not been very progressive as much as I am sure we would all like to see.
I thought about this for quite some time, but this is the line up Klinsy has to follow. THis doesnt include Donovan who would switch into Gatt’s spot
Either a 3-5-2
or a 4-4-2, with a diamond midfield that can allow a quick 4-3-3 to switch into
Cannot have three defensive midfields on the field. We cannot defend well enough. We should be running and gunning with these teams.
Is that how Chandler plays in the Bundesliga? He seemed reluctant to close down wingers, and got beaten a few times when he did. Jones also seemed to be marking pretty loosely at least in the first half. Felt kinda bad for Kljestan out there on the left when he’s really suited for playing inside. Almost nothing in his game suits the wing.
Defending was not great, but maybe it will get better over time. Set piece delivery was horrendous; Zusi needs to probably be on the field for that reason alone.
Surprised no one is bemoaning the lack of Donovan in the midfield. Seems like just the kind of thing one of us would be calling out as the cause of this loss. So disappointed in this board right now…
I’m starting to think Klinsmann might have the right vision for youth development, soccer culture, and training in the US, but isn’t the right man for head coach. I like JK and I want him to do well as coach, but I truly believe he should be doing better with the team and selecting better starting rosters. And this isn’t just one result, we played very poorly to inferior competition all through the last qualifying round too.
Pretty simple still, we need Landon Donovan. Love him or hate him, he is still the best player in this country and arguably the most indispensable.
Good god if Costa Rica ties us in Colorado, then we go down to Mexico and get beat we are going to be one point from 3 matches with 7 to go… NOT a good start.
In which case, I expect it will somehow be the fault of the Rapids…
Landycakes would not have made a difference, but it would be nice to have him on the team.
Would have made a difference on set pieces and on defensive effort.