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Honduras grabs late winner after outplaying flat USMNT in HEX opener

Photo by ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

The performance was underwhelming. The result was even worse.

The U.S. Men’s National Team got off on the wrong foot in their first game in the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying on Wednesday afternoon, putting forth a flat performance en route to suffering a 2-1 loss to Honduras in hot and humid conditions at Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano in San Pedro Sula.

Clint Dempsey intially put the Americans up in the first half of their Hexagonal opener, but a spectacular bicycle kick from Juan Carlos Garcia and second-half finish from Jerry Bengtson saw a lethargic U.S. side surrender its lead and suffer its first ever loss in Honduras in World Cup qualifying

After a slow start in which Tim Howard was forced to make a handful of saves, Dempsey gave the U.S. the lead when he got on the end of a chipped pass from Jermaine Jones and hit a one-timed volley over Honduras goalkeeper Noel Valladares in the 35th minute.

Los Catrachos negated Dempsey’s goal, his sixth in qualifying, and brought the home crowd back to its feet four minutes later. A ball was whipped in by centerback Victor Bernardez from the right flank and fellow central defender Maynor Figueroa chested it back across goal. Garcia, who is also a defender, took advantage of some lax marking and hit an overhead kick into the upper 90 that Howard could only stare at in frustration.

The game was even at halftime and though the U.S. improved in the second half, it was Honduras which continued to look the more dangerous side. A goal by Bengtson was correctly whistled for offside in the 56th minute, but he wound up netting the winner anyway.

After a through ball was slipped in behind Geoff Cameron, Oscar Boniek Garcia took advantage of Howard rushing off his line by playing a square pass to Bengtson. Omar Gonzalez, who surprisingly started in place of usual U.S. captain Carlos Bocanegra, reacted late and was beaten to the ball by the young Honduran forward who had an empty net to shoot at.

The Americans tried to push on for a late equalizer, but never found it. Gonzalez came close on the final play of the game, hitting a header that sailed high following a corner kick.

Now facing pressure to pick up points, the U.S. will next host Costa Rica at Dicks Sporting Goods Park in their second qualifier on March 22 before visiting Mexico at Estadio Azteca four days later.

—–

What do you think of the U.S.’s 2-1 loss to Honduras? What went wrong for the Americans? What needs to change by the time the next qualifier rolls around in March?

Share your thoughts below.

 

Comments

  1. Is anyone ready to call DeMerit back into the pool? Or is everyone still whining that he’s too old (younger than Boca and Dolo) too slow (2nd fastest on Whitecaps) or that he doesn’t fit JK’s system (NO SYSTEM)

    I have been wondering why he hasn’t yet been called in. The only US defender in the world, it seems, that has yet to be called in. Plus he knows how to play with Boca….

    Ok, let’s here the “go younger excuses” now….. Fire Away!

    Reply
    • Agreed. DeMerit has a grit some of these other players are lacking…and his experience would have helped today. Still think Boca should have been on the field today.

      And Chandler looked like it was his first game in qualifying, with, no one covering.

      When I saw the backline today I thought O CRAP. My gut is ocassionally right.

      Reply
  2. Partly in defense of Jozy, who simply got zero service today. He had one decent ball in, and if he had converrted that, it would have been a highlight reel forever. Seriously, when the midfield coughs up the ball so easily, how can you blame the striker?

    Strike Rate of Leading USMNT Scorers

    Michael Bradley .15 goals per game
    Carlos Bocanegra .13 goals per game
    Clint Dempsey .32 goals per game
    Graham Zusi .14 goals per game
    Jozy Altidore .25 goals per game
    Eddie Johnson .31 goals per game

    Missing from today’s game:
    Landon Donovan .34 goals per game
    Herculez Gomez .26 goals pergame

    Reply
  3. Frustrating result but not the end of the world. With three, almost four (with only New Zealand or Tahiti in the way) WC spots available from 6, I don’t think it’s time to be tying this campaign up in a bag and throwing it in the river. The Hex almost always comes down to the ability to win your home games, with ANYTHING picked up away from home a bonus. (We’re not going to be playing every game at 4 pm local, either). We got beat in a passionate, unwelcoming cauldron thanks both to Honduras inventing a time machine and borrowing Pele direct from the set of “(Escape To) Victory” and Omar Gonzalez being shit. Drop Gonzalez, play home games in Columbus, Seattle and Portland and cheer the hell up. Not a good start but Brasil is still within reach. DON’T PANIC.

    Reply
      • Actually we would play them home and home with said team, and the ref wouldn’t be from Central America,s o not sure how you arrived to that conclusion.

  4. And this proves once and for all that you need experience in the back. It’s not about who is the better overall player, it’s about who know the situation.
    A backline with Johnson, Cameron, Omar and Timmy, though promising talent wise, severly lacks any type of serious WCQ action. We missed Dolo for sure. Boca should have played. Edu or Gooch instead of Omar even would have been more prudent in this type of game. This USA team was too green too naive.
    But there are 9 more games, so plenty of time, but veteran leadership is desperately required in the back.

    Reply
  5. this isnt a good result but… just need to finish in the top 3 or 4 out of 6… even if we tie costa rica i’m still not going to panic. not till june anyway…

    Reply
  6. Who should we call in.Wingers that wont provide more than what was shown by Dempsey and EJ.Would Gatt and Bedoya have provided more. I dont think so, one(Bedoya)is not good enough the other(Gatt)is not ready.Maybe Feilhaber or Donovan.Other than that who would of provided a difference.We just don’t have the squad to boss Concacaf.Unlike Mexico whose players are suited to compete in this area.The USMNT is more suited to compete euro qualifying.

    Reply
    • Exactly , “needed width”, well wide players are either injured, not ready yet, or on sabbatical. “needed a creative MF”, well we do not have one and ones we do have are not ready to play at this level. Jk will get criticized for putting out the inexperienced Omar Gonzales, but I keep hearing cries for other guys with the same inexperience to get starting spots.

      Reply
    • Why isn’t Gatt ready? He has been playing professionally for a few years now overseas. You can either play or you can’t. Experience goes both ways. Too much can make you too cautious and too little can make you too reckless. I think the US needs more of that latter at this point.

      If we don’t think he is good enough I accept that but the kid is 22 years old and is a professional. Give him a shot.

      Reply
  7. How many times have I read this title? We are excellent chokers indeed. Any major competition, Confederations Cup or Gold Cup we only play good from behind. This whole comeback kings nickname is crap.

    Reply
  8. Edu for Williams was logical, but Sacha for Johnson wasn’t, Altidore needed the extra forward draw some defenders out, instead, another midfielder.

    Reply
  9. Looks like Klinnsmen (or however you spell his name) hasn’t earned anything from his players. I remember Bob Bradley getting lots of praise from his platers and everyone working their hearts out for him. Even Altidore. Klinnesman should maybe stop throwing everyone else under the bus (Dempsey, Chandler, Donovan, Altidore, Feilhaber, etc) and try to earn the respect of the players he has. Clearly they don’t have the heart, but under Bradley they did.

    Reply
  10. Personally, everyone on the field played terribly. It is not going to get any easier, Costa Rica is next and Ruiz/Saborio and co. are pretty decent finishers. Playing in Panama is not a cake walk either, and Jamaica can beat us as well if we play uninspired like the last time we palyed them.

    Reply
    • It will clearly get easier. At San Pedro Sula is easily the 2nd hardest fixture of the 10. No doubt. Maybe at Estadio Saprissa.. but I dont think costa rica is as talented as Honduras this cycle.

      Reply
      • Doesn’t matter CONCACAF away matches are not easy. Estadio Saprissa is not an easy plae to play neither is going to Panama or Independence Park. We are going to have to max it out at home for sure.

      • you said, “its not going to get any easier” – you’re saying everyone is equal? playing AT Honduras is without a doubt the 2nd hardest fixture the USMNT has in the hex…. I mentioned that Stadio Saprissa is also difficult but Costa Rica isn’t as talented.

  11. Omar Gonzalez always has been and always will be a first-rate prick. Shouldn’t be found within a thousand miles of the USMNT!

    Reply
    • Omar was garbage, begging to be called up and doesn’t even belong on the national team. Our youth systems and development favor kids with money, and the youth coaches probably got their jobs because they watched a few EPL games or played college soccer which is like soccer hell.

      Reply
  12. I hate ppl that know nothing about soccers posts. Your in an away game in 90 degree weather, why would you attack. Shut up you know nothing. Great job by Klinesman to sit back with d midfielders. Williams was subbed to get fresh legs on the field that could cover more ground. And by the way biff, you just made all your comments invalid by putting torres at d midfield you fool

    Reply
  13. Explain to me how we have arguably the best group of players we have ever had and yet we still struggle against teams we should beat convincingly, not that Honduras is one of those teams.

    And for the people saying it’s just one game, how many times under klinsmann have we said the team looks lethargic, that there is no cohesion, that no one seems to know what their role is. Much of the blame has to fall at his feet and if we can’t beat costa rica at home I think we may need to make a coaching change.

    Reply
    • We don’t have a creator in the midfield. We need someone to step up and make things happen in the final 3rd from the midfield. Dont see anyone who can do that in the pool right now. Hopefully a group with Stuart Holden, Landon Donovan, Brek Shea and Josh Gatt can do that going forward.

      Holden – should be game fit within another month most likely
      LD – Hope he realizes his country needs him and returns soon
      Shea – Hope within the next couple months he can start performing and attacking at an EPL level
      Gatt – maybe he is a bit of a stretch but he isn’t as young as Beasley or Donovan were when they terrorized the flanks for the US in 2001 – 2002. Hope he can break into the group soon.

      Reply
      • We have no creative midfielders, and Bradley was passing the ball to Hondurans when we needed to equalize towards the end of the game. Do not name Torres either, he is not fit for national team play. Adu, is good, but he can’t even straighten out his pro career.

      • Having Kljestan in the middle of the pitch would have been an improvement to Jones, who except for that lovely chip pass to dempsey, was useless in the attack.

        Also feilhaber is an attacking mid that probably would have had a good impact on the game.

  14. Klinsmann’s coaching today was the worst yet. I am so sick and tired of three defensive midfielders from a man who promised us exciting attacking soccer. Please, can we have two DMs from here on out. I personally do not see either Jermaine Jones or Michael Bradley as attacking midfielders. Klinsmann is once again trying to put square pegs into round holes.

    Daniel Williams should not have started. Since before Christmas, he has only played 14 minutes for Hoffenheim. Today would have been a perfect opportunity for an in-form Jose Torres. And if not Jose, then Edu or Jones or Bradley could have played the position. Being forced to pull Williams at 57 minutes shows that his starting was a mistake.

    Bocanegra should have started. Herc Gomez, who proved himself last year as one of the most dependable guys on the team, should have started.

    And speaking of substitutions, why Kljestan? Zusi I can understand. Jozy should have been pulled. He was doing nothing constructive on the field and it would have been a perfect time to insert Herc Gomez.

    Anyway, this is the line-up I posted two days ago and I think this team would have won the game.

    ————–Eddie———-

    Dempsey—Zusi—–Herc

    ————–MB——————–
    ——————–Torres———–

    Fabian–Boca–Gonzales–Cameron

    Reply
    • I agree with most of your post especially about the 3 defensive midfielders. One thing though, I know you aren’t a huge fan of Jozy, but I would still like to see him over EJ.

      Reply
      • Hey, Ewan W. Actually, I am a huge fan of Jozy at the club level and I like him as a person. But he is not getting the job done in a US shirt and I have lost faith in his ability to score at the international level. I think EJ looked much better today than Jozy and I would have liked to see him at the point.

        Quick question, why would you still like to see Jozy play if he can’t score?

      • In my opinion he is our best striker. You are right that EJ was better today and Altidore wasn’t that great in 2012 but he only started 3 games for us last year. He is also only 23 years old. I feel like he has to much skill to give up on him. I too however would have liked to see Gomez come in for him.

        Also, I don’t get all the fuss about Bradley. Yeah he covers a lot of ground but he does not have the offensive ability to play that far up the field. He also made several poor passes and was beat a few times by Honduras.

    • Biff, in one post you say Williams shouldn’t play because he’s played 14 minutes. In another, you want to see Parkhurst, who hasn’t played since he switched teams.

      So which is it?

      Reply
    • that is your lineup that would have won the game for the USA vs Honduras…IN HONDURAS??? are you slow, clinically ill, 7 years old…or all of the above??? whos was going to do the heavy lifting in the midfield???…michael bradley by himself??? torres as the defensive midfield destroyer in front of the back line of four defenders???…he has never played that role before, not for his club teams, and definitley not for the NATS! GET A CLUE!

      Reply
  15. If you really watched the game at about the 75 min bradley looked slow and tired. Terrible sub with johnson coming off instead of jones. Chandler defended terribly, his give away ultimately led to the first goal. Shocked that Gonzalez even has to check over his shoulder to see if anyone is behind him when there is a sitting ball in the 6 with the goalie out. Get the F**K**G ball out

    Reply
    • If one is going to comment about Chandlers give away for the first goal, then one has to talk about the shotty clearance by Bradley that led to Chandlers giveaway that resulted in a corner for Honduras which culminated with a Honduras goal.

      But I agree Chandler did not look good.

      Reply
  16. The US will qualify for the 2014 WC in Brazil. I predict the Hex will end like this:

    1. Mexico
    2. Honduras
    3. USA
    4. Jamaica
    5. Costa Rica
    6. Panama

    CONCACAF isn’t like Europe. The fields aren’t pristine and the facilities in the countries other than Mexico and the US are sub-par. All the people saying that we won’t qualify need to take a chill pill. The US has more than enough quality and mental fortitude to at least finish 4th (and Oceania teams, aka New Zealand, can be easily over powered).

    Reply
  17. Denmark had some friendlies, around the U.S. that actually helped some players with better fitness and understanding with each.

    Reply
  18. Thought they looked asleep at the wheel through large portions of the match. They seemed sloppy in possession. Defense didn’t look sharp and I don’t remember seeing Chandler or FJ making great runs up the wings. Can anyone name me a single game where we have played well with Bradley/Jones/Williams or Edu in for Williams.

    I am guessing the game plan must have been to absorb pressure and then put in guys that are more forward thinking in the second half if needed??
    That sure didn’t work.

    Reply
  19. Other than the goal we had few passing moves designed to create a chance. The entire team seemed averse to taking any “risks” and they showed high degree of stagnation. When was Jozy supposed to score? My 52 year old body could stop him from scoring if the only attacking passes go to Mr badfirsttouch Zusi or come from the back 4.

    Reply
  20. Two things to take away from this match:

    1) JK needs to practice what he preaches when it comes to performing at one’s best. You cannot hold your players to one standard and then make the same dog tactical decisions every match. He needs to own it to himself, and most importantly own the loss in front of the team. 3 mistakes just off the top of my head, bring some wide players this team it always plays too narrow, stop running out 3 DMs it never has looked good, and lastly, Gonzalez over Boca on the first match of the Hex, really?

    2) Landon, I know you don’t owe anything to anyone, but you let us all down by not showing up. Please be a grown up and support your fans and your country and get the h*** back on the pitch where you belong.

    Nothing more to say, it was so bad I don’t think there is even a point singling out the performances.

    Reply
  21. I hate seeing both my “U’s” lose, but for USNT I continue to blame USSF. Gonzalez, Zusi, and Johnson weren’t fit for the game. Gonzalez never played with this group of defenders, he needed some games develop understanding. Also, we basically played one forward in most the game.

    Reply
  22. Im already tired of this JK experiement. The team has looked so bad for too long. I highly doubt we finish in the top 3. There is no system. No cohesion. Nobody has any idea what their roles are if they have any roles. The team looks disinterested, no heart its just all around bad. 3 dms and no width is a recipe for disaster. Camreon’s not a CB. Chandler walks into this team like hes earned a spot and puts in a horrid performance while there are plenty of RB’s who would kill to get a chance to represent their country. Eddie Johnsons not a winger. Williams is awful. This team has taken 10 steps back since the world cup and its not looking like this team is improving. Its been a disastrous couple of years (u-20 qualifying and other youth tournies, Olympics, Gold cup loss, barely qualifying for the hex) and somebody needs to answer. Sunil needs to man up and realize his experiment has gone wrong and resign. US Soccer has regressed too much

    Reply
    • Williams wasn’t that bad, I see Williams filling Sanneh-type of defender, but Chandler sucked as$. Basically, USNT plays with 3 holding midfielders and no real attacking flank midfielders.

      Reply
  23. All in all that went very well, didn’t it?

    Oh, Timmy Chandler is cap tied. As soon as he starts playing at Right Back we’ll be fine!
    He’s an unbeatable defender, you know.
    I hear he stopped an entire team once, by himself! From a wheel chair!

    Well, I hear he’s never once been megged by a back heel!

    Reply
  24. So funny, everybody has been calling for the change of guard for Bocanegra on defense, and then when that is done, everybody says why did they start Gonzalez and not play Bocanegra.

    Reply
    • Gonzo is in his off season .. From MLS.. Give me the experience of Bocanegra any day of the week… Omar is a longterm solution, not an immediate one.

      Btw.. Chandler looked awful too.

      Reply
    • You know what, I follow the general sentiment around here pretty closely and I don’t think anybody has been clamoring for Boca to be replaced. They simply want a plan for the LCB position once his performances no longer meet the mark. Which may be sooner than we would all like. Nevertheless, agreed he was sorely missed today.

      Reply
      • +1 and JK’s gamble failed

        JK talks about wanting to challenge players, but it’s his job to set them up to succeed, and he think he does a poor job of that so far too often

    • This strawman, which has been advanced several times in the last two threads, is just so wrong.

      You can’t just proclaim “everyone has been wanting Gonzalez, it’s time for Boca to sit.” I read about 5 different minute-by-minutes for today’s game, and EVERY SINGLE ONE at the start of the match said something to the effect of “wow, I’m really surprised he’s not starting Boca. That seems like a questionable decision.”

      Reply
  25. Massive disappointment. I don’t know of any other professional team that talks as much as this one about taking it to the other team and forcing opponents to adjust to them, and then go out and just play awful time and time again. It’s a level of self-unawareness that is baffling to me. Back it up at least once, that’s all I ask. It’s not like they were playing Brazil. Honduras is good, but no way we should be losing that game.

    Reply
      • Wrong. Just wrong. To begin with, neither of those two have proven otherwise. More than that, this loss was no more Jozy’s fault (and probably less than some) than any other player on the team.

        And second, Jozy is a scorer. Maybe he doesn’t fit the “system”, if by system, you mean a team that provides NO good service no matter who the forward is.

      • What about a striker needing service don’t you understand. That’s like blaming a wide receiver for not catching the ball when he has awful qb. I mean come one be serious.

      • Exaclty, Larry Fitzgerald is an incredible wide receiver, but the rest of the team is terrible so his stats arent that great. What could Jozy honestly have done today? Gomez has never even played that well I dont understand why people want him so badly

      • All of our “quarterbacks” play and start for their club teams in top leagues and are able to provide service there. At what point to go you start to look at the reciever? Larry Fitzgerald knows how to run crisp routes and read defenses to get open. Jozy has not figured those intricacies out yet.

      • Lol really Biff. Your putting the cart before the horse. You can’t expect these guys to do any better unless they get better service. We don’t have striker problems we have mid field issues. We have nobody who can pull the strings. We are built to be a counter attacking team as much as we don’t want to accept that. This creative soccer we want to play isn’t working. We just don’t have the players to make it work. We either adapt and adjust or continue to put a square peg in a round hole.

      • I agree Jozy isn’t up to par, half the guyson this board could score in the Dutch league. Jozy has been around a long time but he is still only 23. Not done yet

  26. Both teams looked like poo poo platter. The USMNT continues to lack a killer instinct. They got the goal, Honduras was reeling, and what does the USMNT do; they sit back. They allowed Honduras to come back into the game. Instead of pushing on the accelerator they put on the brakes.

    I fully expect some changes in March. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Lando, Shea, Pontius, Holden, and Boyd called up for the March qualifiers. Bradley needs a partner who can see a pass, and that can take some of the load off of his shoulders in Midfield. That person is and will be Stuart Holden. I project that he will be back with the USMNT by March. The USMNT also needs more dynamic players and those players are Lando, Ponitus, and Shea. The USMNT also needs more up top, and my guess Boyd will see some time on the field in March. Jozy played alright at times, but man he still seems stuck in second gear with the Nats.

    Reply
  27. Like I’ve said many times before, Omar Gonzalez is too slow for the intl. game
    Williams started even thou he sucked his last game and hasn’t been playing regularly for his club.
    I’m a Cameron fan but he doesn’t play cb enough at his club to play it for the Nats.
    0 offensive creativity.
    Four German Amercians… 3 better than anyone else we have avail at their positions (jones,chandler ,Johnson) and we still sucked.
    US program going down instead of up. That or everyone else is just passing us up.

    Reply
    • Growing pains. I don’t see the program going downhill. Previous regimes did do much as far as player development, youth teams and such. Now we are stuck in transitions with a group of aging veterans and young talents. The older ones losing the speed of the game and the young guys, though talented, not ready for the international game. No one took the time to groom players to step in for our veterans when the time comes. I do believe this has changed with the JK regime and we are seeing better quality players coming up. I happen to believe the future is bright, even with the gloomy present.

      Reply
  28. We need Landon Donovan back on the team and Klinsmann needs to do the right thing and repair the broken relationship that he seems to have with an American soccer legend and get Donovan back on board. Landon Donovan should be wearing the captain’s armband going forward just like he should have worn the armband in the Mexico friendly last August when Klinsmann gifted the captaincy to Tim Howard and Klinsmann needs to admit his mistakes and correct them.

    Reply
    • Everyone would love to have Landon back on the team. The reality of the situation is that Landon’s sabbatical has nothing to do with Klinsman.

      Reply
    • One player doesn’t change that game, no matter who it is. The team as a whole looked awful and disjointed. Nobody knows what they should be doing. That’s not because we’re missing Donovan, that’s because we’re missing coaching. I’ve been firmly in the JK camp since he was hired, this is the first time I’ve questioned him but these bad performances are a pattern now instead of just “one game”.

      Reply
      • I prefer JK and his potential over Bradley’s counterattack, but you’re right. Even the games we are applauded for (Mexico in Azteca) are terrible performances masked by a result. Hopefully this game lights a fire under our arses.

      • I continue to beleive JK’s actions do not match his words. He talks an attacking brand of soccer and then deploys 3 DMs (or at least 3 guys who are most comfortable playing in the middle with the ball in front of them). Also, the US backs Chandler and Johnson can each get forward and produce good service, since neither did, I can only surmise they were instructed to stay back in defense and not attack.

  29. At least we know now Gonzo is not ready before its too late. He didn’t complete one pass, gave possession away constantly, and ball watched on the last goal. All together the defensive was just sloppy. Bradley and Klejsten gave the ball away too many times as well. This just looks like a team with no heart no leader. Missing Boca and Donovan and we need someone like an Adu to hold the ball and break down defenses. Don’t care if Adu doesn’t play defense. We’ve been inconsistent for years now.

    Reply
    • +1. Adu provides width, speed, creativity, possession, and service. Mexico Gold Cup final is a great example of what we are missing from the likes of Landon & Freddy. It also serves as a reminder how much we missed ‘dolo (after he went down injured) that day and today.

      Reply
  30. Wasn’t able to see the match but, the result isn’t surprising. This was our second toughest away fixture of the Hex. But, this means a win versus Costa Rica is paramount.

    Reply
  31. Timothy Chandler the — ahem — world-class right back whose better than — heh-heh — Steven Cherundolo. We just gotta have him–NOT! Chandler has been mostly average or worse so far this season for Nurnberg, and he sukked big time today. Please, can we give Lichaj a look or let a guy like Michael Parkhurst who played his heart out for the shirt last year in WCQ and always put in steady performances. Oh wait, I forgot, they weren’t born in Germany so they can’t be nearly as good as Timmy C.

    Reply
    • +1 I am so tired of seeing Germans who don’t bleed red, white, and blue put in dismal ho him performances. Williams, Chandler, FJ, & Jones all started in a hostile environment and outside of Jones, they did nothing positive. Dempsey, Howard, and Bradley showed urgency but our captain watched from the bench. Gomez would have worked his tail off and should have started unless he is injured. Sacha and EJ are not wings! We need Landon and Brek.

      Reply
  32. Most of our players came off short weeks playing in their respective leagues. With the short turn around, long flights, home crowd and refs giving the benefit of the doubt on most 50/50 calls, I wasn’t surprised to see JK pack it in in the second half. Tough result.
    However, it was strange not to see any late subs to freshen the legs. We needed someone creative on the outside. If we can’t provide service to Jozy, we need to play Gomez who’s more willing to run the field.

    Reply
  33. Edu, Howard, Dempsey and Bradley all had ok to above average games. Everybody else was extremely poor.

    Think about it-we could seriously not qualify for the World Cup. That’s insane.

    Landon, Dolo, and Boca were dearly, dearly missed. Atrocious.

    Reply
    • +1 on all but Michael Bradley. he is playing well for Roma, but I thought he had a below average performance today, threw the ball away several times directly to Hondurans and weak on defense.

      Reply
      • I agree Bradley did not play as well as he usually does, but I can think of no US player who had a better game overall. Howard made saves he was supposed to and he and Cameron conspired to generate the 2nd Honduras goal.

    • Howard doesn’t get any blame for the second goal? It looked like Cameron slowed up. If he comes out he has to win that ball regardless of where Cameron is. Howard is a fantastic keeper but shouldn’t get a free pass on this one.

      Reply
  34. It was actually worse then described in this article… We looked awful. Klinsmann needs to be questioned about that line up he put out there… In particular starting Danny Williams, and Omar Gonzalaz. Second goal was all Omar’s fault…

    Reply
    • I know my feed was crappy, but it looked to me like Cameron and Howard were both more at fault than Gonzalez for the second goal.

      Reply
      • It was a team effort, and a team mistake. Honduras didn’t need that goal to prove that they dominated the game. We looked like it was too hot for a soccer match.

      • Sounds like a really crappy feed, then, as Gonzalez was quite arguably most at fault for that goal. Looked completely lost even in a CB position…

      • They were not more at fault. Gonzo stopped running like he thought he was alone, that’s what allowed his man to score. Both Howard and Cameron had blame on the goal though.

      • All three are partially to blame but it all started with Garcia(I believe) marauding down the middle of the field as the American mids and fullback looked on as he played the through ball into the box. Not a single player tried to stop the ball.

      • This is what I did not see during the feed. Looked at the youtube clip later and Omar clearly was in a good position to clear away the ball, makes a horrible mistake of looking back instead of just clearing it, and gets beat. I stand corrected. But, Cameron should have been able to handle the ball to Boniek Garcia and Howard should have done much better.

  35. our guys looked so lethargic, it was like they were in azteca. I don’t really get it. Mid-80’s they should have been playing with more energy. They kept giving honduras’s players, offensive and defensive, acres of space and rarely contested the ball. I do not think this just comes down to one mistake by cameraon or gonzales (although it was a wopper) but just incredibly low energy all around. The result should have been closre to 3-1 or 4-1, and when the second goal came, it felt just — honduras deserved to win and we definitely deserved to lose.

    I thought edu was a nice sub, and injected some energy, but did not at all understand the subbing out of EJ. He seemed like the only offensive player plaing with any real energy and getting by guys and then was replaced by Kjestan, who was far less comfortable wide right. zusi was also useless. this game needed donovan – a guy who can run and make things happen on offense.

    Other than EJ, howard, at times bradley, and deuce for the finish, no one distinguished themselves at all.

    Reply
    • Exactly, we had little motivation/energy. It doesn’t matter who you put in, what formation, who is coach…blahblahblah. Without energy…they are hopeless.

      Reply
    • Agreed. It was amazing to see our inability to apply any pressure to the ball. Felt that lack of pressure is what led to both goals. Just didn’t seem like anybody wanted to stop the ball, until Mo came on. He was flying around like Danny Williams was supposed to.

      Reply
  36. It’s going to be such a disaster if the U.S. fails to qualify for the World Cup. If that happens, it’s going to set soccer in this country back to the stone ages. Needed at least a point here. CONCACAF is tough. Hard to imagine this team getting any points out of Mexico, and more than one against Honduras. Every other game’s gonna have to be a victory.

    Reply
      • It’s more than one game. This configuration of the USMNT lately is the least impressive squad than the hapless fellows who were sent to the ’98 World Cup, in my opinion.

      • You’re both right. It’s one game, but damn we looked bad. I would rather lose and play good, than win and play like this. It leaves little hope for the future.

      • And I’d rather play like crap for 10 games and win each one 1-0. Your quote was straight out of White Men Can’t Jump.

      • No, it’s not. It’s one game. Against an underrated foe. Away. When our guys were jet lagged.

        I’m not making excuses. But those who think we’re not making it need to slow their roll a bit.

      • I didn’t say the U.S. wasn’t going to make it. I was pointing out what a disastrous situation it would be if they didn’t. Which is what could happen if they keep playing this way. No World Cup means at least 8 years until the next time the U.S. plays in the one event that really galvanizes casual and otherwise-uninterested fans in the United States. A missed qualification erases all the progress made since 1994.

      • are you freaking kidding me? failing to qualify erases all progress since ’94?
        erases MLS?
        erases the record number of Americans playing in top leagues?
        erases the supporters US and MLS supporters groups?
        erases the fact that there’s more soccer on TV in the U.S. than ever before?

        Please, lay down the pipe and join us in reality.

      • Actually he’s not that far off. casual fans jump on the bandwagon once teams win big. Sports become big time in this country because of casual fans. While geeks like us will follow this team thru thick and thin, getting into to the final 8 or 4 of the world cup will be the tipping point for this sport becoming mainstream in the USA. Until then it’ll be more of the same slog of inches we’re currently in. I’m not saying we’ll be pre 1994, but we lose a lot of momentum that we would otherwise gain.

      • I like this. The U.S. always plays better with an extended camp behind them. Watch them take both the games in March….but this does make Costa Rica almost a must win.

      • A tie at Honduras or Mexico would be a bonus.
        Win the home games and take points from other 3 us will be fine.
        It was one game in hot weather.
        We will start 1-2 and still make it easily, remember it is 10 games

      • Hobomike:

        We understand it’s one game. The problem is that while the next one against CR is at home, we gotta play Mex at Azteca and Jamaica in their stadium. That means this next game is a must win. It would be a horrible situation to go into Jamaica with 1 or 0 points.

      • While I’m typing this, Mexico is failing to score against Jamaica and Jamaica has come very close a couple times. But I don’t think Mexico will lose more than 2 games this time around, but hey you never know!

  37. Jozy tried to be active, which is one of his hallmarks, and he saw some chances, but he failed to convert yet again and a player who is trying to erase the stigma of being unable to score for the national team absolutely needs to finish chances, and even convert a half-chance or two. Why didn’t Herc Gomez get the start? Why wasn’t Terrence Boyd called up?

    Jozy has now gone 14 USMNT games without scoring a goal (excluding a penalty kick goal in November 2011 against Slovenia). Jozy is great at the club level, but he has lost whatever he once had to be able to score internationally. Klinsmann needs to bring someone in who can score.

    Reply
    • Thank you. Couldn’t believe he wasn’t subbed for Gomez. Obviously doesn’t fit JK’s system. It’s like he just waits for service and that’s it. Clint is proactive. Jozy is not. And he lost a footrace early on that Gomez wins.

      Yet again, Jozy fails to show up for the national team…

      Reply
      • agreed. atrocious subbing today, but pulling Eddie Johnson was the worst. Jozy should have come off–actually at half time.

      • Disagree. If you want Jozy out fine, but Johnson was worthless in that position. He can’t play midfield and he can’t play wide. Clogged the middle to often for the guys who make plays

      • Johnson got too cute with stuff, I’m guessing trying to show that he belonged back on the international stage. This was not the game for overdribbling, stepovers, crap like that.

        He should be making run after run behind the defense instead of trying to beat players directly on a bumpy field.

        He was only slightly more effective than Jozy, with four times as many touches.

      • You seem to assume that JK actually has a legit system. Not one game under him have the midfield and forwards combined well

      • Klinsmann has a system???????? Are you that f*cking blind???? The only system JK has deployed is 3dm’s and no width there is no concievable way you could honestly think Jozy is the problem when the WHOLE team has lacked goals and there continues to be an atrocious lack of service

      • Easy. You willing to say Jurgen just says “Go get open”? Obviously he has a system. It’s not working and he needs to switch something up to facilitate width. But Jozy was not proactive out there today. What I’ve seen from Herc is activity. I want him in the game before Jozy every time.

      • According to Phillip Lahm that is exactly what he does. If you want a player to run around with his head cut off then Gomez is your guy if you want someone who knows positioning and thrives off service than Jozy is your man. Its not like Jozy has never produced for the NT, he lead WQC in goals last cycle. This points to JK being the problem not Jozy especially when no one has stepped up to score goals.

      • No one has stepped up to score goals? Are you sure about that? Eddie Johnson scored two key goals in one game in october. Demspey scored five goals last year and one today. Gomez scored three goals last year and the list of players who scored in 2012 or this year goes goes on and on and you will not find Jozy’s name on it. Why were the other guys able to score and jozy not? Can you explain it?

      • Wow! 3 goals in one year! Against CONCACAF talent! And our world-beater with 5! Can you explain why I’m so damn sarcastic?

    • Biff, your prejudice against certain players is amazing. You hate Jozy and Chandler. You think Bradley gets a pass on everything and is immune to criticisms. Can’t you ever be practical?

      Jozy had one half-chance. That’s it. Can’t expect him to finish that.

      Reply
      • Fact of the matter is, the whole team pretty much looked awful. I’ve been a Jermaine Jones supporter, but honestly, he was completely gassed by the 25+ minute. Nonetheless , it really isn’t fair to pin this loss on one or two players. Honduras wanted it more plain and simple.

      • And really, it’s hard to hate on Jones when he’s asked to play CAM. It’s not his fault he’s out of position.

        I’ve never been one to complain about coaching, and I more or less understand the thought process as to why Jones was where he was, but man, that was frustrating to watch.

    • Enough. Tell me a US forward that is regularly converting/creating chances in a red, white and blue jersey? For the record, I’d be fine with Herc up there starting/going 90. Are you really willing to say that this would have changed the outcome of the game?

      Look at the lack of width and service provided. Not many strikers thirve on a team that lacks an identity such as ours. Thats why I find your comment to be a supreme distraction. There are far more pressing needs to address, Klinsmann needs to create an identity, work on chemistry/dynamism in attack and cohesion in the defense.

      In short, this was a failure at the TEAM level and not a valid game to single out the striker (cf) as your are attempting.

      Reply
      • Fair point, just wanted to see more activity out of him. I think having Gomez in there would have made a difference, yes. However, grass is always greener, hindsight 20/20, so I understand. Just my thoughts.

      • I know it’s tough to take one moment and apply it to a match. But I do remember one play in the first half where Honduras had a decent spell of possession, and Jozy tracked back past the 208208932 d-mids and took the ball from the Honduran player at the top of his defensive 18. Sounds pretty active to me.

      • Ha-ha-ha-ha, MJC_DC. Let’s hear the excuses for yet another dismal performance from Jozy. But when Wondo gets no service, usually in the last 10 minutes of games, with B- and C-team midfielders to provide lousy service, then it’s Wondo’s fault. Gimme a frickin’ break

      • Biff, I seem to remember Wondo missing an open goal from 4 yards in the Gold Cup. Haven’t heard you mention that in…..ever.

      • You missed my point completely. Did you not read the part that said I’d be fine with Gomez going 90.

        My point was, our cf is not going to matter if we continue to play that way. I think your making excuse for the entire team, by throwing a few players under the bus.

        Instead we could focus on the midfield and defense and the single forward that klinsmann generally uses as a whole. Look at the way the TEAM played.

        For me, I’d like more width (via fullbacks or playing true wingers). Personally, I want chalk huggers. Make a tough decision in CM (I want two of Jones, Bradley, Williams or Edu … you could include other like minded players if you want) and then take a chance with a more offensive CM. Work on identifying the best CBs. You see what I’m getting at? This is a team game, a team effort and after performances like today your type of comments are detrimental to what really matters. Establishing better chemisty, cohesion and confidence within the limits of our pool.

    • I have to disagree. Jozy’s one chance could barely be called even a half-chance. He had absolutely no service today. No balls played into channels for him to run to, no accurate crossing of any kind. Jozy’s been in great form for club, but at club level he gets chances in games to score. One problem today is that our midfielders were holding onto the ball too long and not making the through pass when the opportunity was there (albeit they were very brief opportunities).

      Reply
    • IF we had saved a sub, i would have liked Gomez to replace Altidore. This is not all on Altidore, but i also do not think he is not our best option up tere. Prefer Gomez and Wondo, who hustle and scrap for 90 minutes. We need to stop bagging on Wondo, whose run without a goal for Nats is absolutely dwarfed by Jozy’s. Even Herc has only two goals with the Nats (one on a freekick that should have been saved) in a gazillion more minutes…with the first team.
      The problem is creativity, and we do not have any. Can’t someone kidnap Freddy Adu and reprogram him? He is the only guy in the pool who shows any artistry. It’s so depressing. Will go back and watch U-20 highlights vs. Brazil (again) to make myself feel better. Sigh…

      Reply
    • Laying this defeat on Jozy is borderline insane. He’s not the one who created a line up with no service, no width and no attacking pressure. This game is 100% on the coach. It was horrid

      Reply
      • I don’t believe anybody really feels that Jozy is to blame for the loss. I do however believe he is poor on the national level. He plays extremely well for his club in a league that is not known for its tough defenses. Not to say that we did not have other problems, but Jozy was definitely one. Some people are quick to jump to his defense claiming poor service is to blame. Goal scorers find ways to get the ball, constantly moving, making runs, dropping deep etc. Jozy lacks the off the ball movement needed to be successful at the international level. And unfortunately isn’t really something you can teach. Most successful goal scorers at this level just have that knack for getting open; it’s instinctual. Lack of service at first glance seems the culprit for the offensive woes but I would suggest that it is actually the lack of movement off the ball is mainly to blame. To suggest that our mids can’t get our forwards the ball seems a bit absurd given MB and JJ play on good teams in top leagues and have no problem contributing offensively.

      • @tony, clearly you hate klinsy for whatever reason and maybe bc he’s not american but come off of the everything is his fault bc its not……the majority of those starters play at big clubs in europe and you mean to tell me klinsmann needs to hold their hand throughout the match for them to understand what their roles and jobs are???? Gimme a break they didn’t want like honduras did and clearly some of our better playerd weren’t in form bc of lack of games fue to injury or susendions. Edu should have started from the beginning and maybe castillo and torres as well…JJ nor fabian were at their best and yeah kinsmann should have know that but he took a chance with the best 11 in his mind and it didnt work….clint was awful besides the goal and bradley looked fit but gave us nothing creatively..the backline continues lump balls forward but thats not on klinsmann, they need to show more composure and the middies need to show for the ball in open spaces…this lost comes down to the players…plain and simple

      • Remotely close? More like a different planet. His teammates were huffing and puffing 2 minutes after the first whistle.

      • He was one of the few players actually player his position with a clearly defined roll.

        The rest of the players seemed to have no idea what their rolls were.

    • Are you kidding? I agree that MB has been playing well for Roma. He had a few good moments against Honduras, but overall he had a bad day, he must have passed the ball directly to a Honduras player at least four times. And defensively he was getting beat bad.

      Reply
      • Yeah MB did have a bad game, lot of turnovers, bad passes generally.

        And he was still one of our better players.

    • Never seen professionals so out of shape. Terrible subs by Klinsmann, and can Klinsmann just understand that Jozy is not got for USA. Lazy

      Reply
      • Altidore at least applied pressure to the ball twice. I can’t believe I’m saying that was a USMNT highlight. Pressuring the damn ball. And by the way, he never even won it. Yet, that was still a highlight if you subtract Bradley (always a rock) and Dempsey (not much else besides a shot) from the equation. It was that bad.

  38. Team USA lacked motivation…that simple. Countless times during the game, US players were standing around while the Hondurans hustled. Standing….waiting for passes…poor clearances…it goes on and on.

    This was a tough loss…particulary to see such strong talent not playing to their ability. Hopefully, they wake up.

    Reply
    • Lacked motivation? How about lacked clarity? Lacked tactics. Some many times guys were looking around because they didn’t appear to have any clue what to do.

      They were standing around because they are a poorly coached team without a vision. The irony of your comment is that motivational speeches is ALL the Klnsmann brings…

      Reply
      • Wow. Can you say casual soccer fan? It was clear that they weren’t hustling. Bad tactics had nothing to do with it, unless JK was hoping that Honduras would wear themselves out.

      • Wow. Can you say club coach and former high school player? Look at a replay of the first Honduras goal some time, and see how many guys were looking around and over the shoulder because they clearly had no idea what to do or who was covering where? You can see Cameron, for one, look for the wing to cover the ball that bounced into the corner….but no one is there, because all three holding mids pinch in and Eddie Johnson is not a wing. he doesn’t have the instinct to know where to be on plays like that. The motivation is an excuse. This is a very poorly coached team that has no clarity about tactics.

      • They didn’t know what to do? Are the children who are just learning how to play? Clarity? How about they use their ability and run for a ball.

    • Zusi should have started. He’s the only one who seems willing to go and stay wide. Eddie Johnson in that spot was a terrible idea. He essentially clogged the middle and left the left side empty.

      Reply
    • Valladares plays for Olimpia (HON)
      Peralta plays for Vida (HON)
      Bernardez plays for San Jose Earthquakes (MLS)
      Figeroa plays for Wigan Athletic (EPL)
      J.C. Garcia plays for Olimpia (HON)
      O.B. Garcia plays for Houston Dynamo (MLS)
      Garrido plays for Red Star Belgrade (SERBIA)
      Espinoza plays for Wigan Athletic (EPL, just left MLS)
      Martinez plays for Seattle Sounders (MLS)
      Bengtston plays for New England Revolution (MLS)
      Costly plays for Veria (GREECE)
      There comes a time when the its not the players to blame its the coach and this time it all falls on Klinsmann. Look at where the majority of their players play…..MLS, in Honduras (which is a weaker league than MLS), and wigan Athletic…….When our coaches put together a team with a majority of MLS players we call it a C team but look at the team that convincingly beat us. The problem is our coaches select based on where you play rather than your skill set or how you play. The funny thing is most of their players won’t even make the USMNT A team under a Klinsmann type coach.
      This issue is not a matter of “not having” quality players…its a matter of selecting the right players for the Job at hand. Our central/south American pool of players alone play in a better league than most of the players on the Honduran side. The reason they beat us is that they have a GOOD COACH. We go in with the same players (with no individual skill or creativity), same formations, hold a 3 week camp and only select a few players that participated……and expect different results?

      Reply
  39. Honduras has a pretty good football team…

    Of course, playing at home in a crucial qualifying versus a would-be arch-rival does not hurt.

    The USMNT lost every foot race

    The USMNT gave the ball away in the middle of the pitch far too often

    Most “iffy” possession-related calls went the other way.

    Its early….

    Reply
    • Aside from a few poor individual performances, which undoubtedly there will be a few every game, this loss really came down to tactics and squad selection.

      1. Why do we consistently play with no wide players? Our lack of width kills us. We cant counter, because there is no one there to run into open space. We cant keep possession, because all of our midfielders are standing next to each other and are covered by 1-2 players. We have no speed. I understand our best wide players were not available today, but consider with whom Honduras dominated the flanks. Mario Martinez (who isnt a consistent starter with the sounders) and Garcia (who is a very solid MLS player). Neither should be feared.

      2. We cant continue to put central (usaully defensive) midfielders on the flanks. Jermaine Jones isnt a wide player. Dempsey will always drift inside (where he is best) and shouldnt be relied upon to provide width. Klejstan is a right footed central midfielder who lacks pace and should never be put on the left wing. Eddie probably had the best wide play today (cross the Jozy in the 1st), but he spent most of his time inside.

      3. Why doesn’t Jermaine Jones play the no. 6 for the US? I understand that he brings a bit of skill into the final third (see today’s assist), but why not let him play where he plays for Schalke? He might be the most athletic guy on the field and would absolutely destroy opposing midfields. He would be the best d-mid in concacaf. This would solve the edu/williams debate, by placing both on the bench. Bradley and Dempsey could play centrally and push forward. This would allow two actual wide players on the pitch.

      4. We lost to a largely MLS side today. 4 European based starters. One was Costly, who flamed out with the Dynamo. One was Espinoza, who just transfered to Wigan. While this team is talented, surely the US has a group of MLS guys to counter. Wouldnt seattle rather have Zusi play on the flanks over Martinez? Doesnt Brad Evans anyway? Wasnt Brad Davis the Houston team MVP? DeLeon, Pontius, Gatt > Martinez?

      5. Beating the dead horse, starting Gonzo in SPS over Boca was a bad idea. Especially when you consider Chandler was going into his first real cap as well. To me, Chandler was a nightmare defensively. Out of position, getting beat 1v1, and failing to make a mark offensively. The first time I noticed Danny Williams today was when he almost got kicked in the face by the man he was marking on the first goal. The second was when he was subbed off.

      Reply
      • Wonderful observations.

        My only addition is about Chandler and F. Johnson.

        We all salivated before the game about the potential of bombing runs forward from our two wing backs, unfortunately we didn’t see a single run forward from the backs that I can recall. Almost as if they were asked not to make those runs.

        The lack of width these guys provided insured that our formation was not going to work.

        This compiled with the bad ball breaks and the utter lackadaisical malaise that covered the entire team was our downfall.

        Hopefully the funk doesn’t follow us to the next game. Hopefully we stick Jones at the 6 and start asking our players to do things they’re more naturally capable of doing. Hopefully Landon comes back.

    • “It’s early…”

      Yep. It cuts deep to see my beloved US of A sitting at the bottom of the Hex standings all by themselves. But, just like the English Premier League, the cream will rise to the top at the end of the Hex.

      At least we did not tie Jamaica at home without scoring a goal, like Mexico did.

      Reply

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