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USA 0, Mexico 0: Player Reactions

Michael Bradley

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    • I think if he continues to regain fitness and avoid injuries, I imagine we’ll probably see him called up at some point this fall, even if just for a friendly. I can see JK wanting to take a look at Stu’s play himself.

  1. I know edu’s getting slack because be can’t seem to pass or dribble the ball forward effectively. i saw it, and it was ugly. BUT, he and bradly kinda work together and look like they have an understanding out there. Edu puts in an insane about of defensive work which he is really good at (the best pure dm in our pool, i think) and provides cover for bradley to get forward. With jermaine jones in, he and bradly don’t seem on the same page with both often caught forward. Against strong offensive teams, I think the bradley edu pairing works better.

    • You may be right about Edu and Bradley in a DM pairing against stronger teams. By stronger teams I look and compare the USA to Germany, Spain, or Brazil. Against the top 10 FIFA ranked teams…we need to have a dual DM formation. This has proven, from a defensive point of view, to be an area of strength we have. 2 DM’s has proven more effective than 3 DM’s. Now, we just have to formulate the rest of the midfield to go along with a dual DM formation. We will soon have the luxury of including Donovan. The rest of the midfield, perhaps 3 more attack minded players. On my short list I would put Beasley on the left and F Johnson on the right…until somebody comes in and takes away those spots.

      Beasley——-Donovan——–F Johnson


      Yes, I put Jones in there because of his play against Costa Rica and also he is more of a complete package in comparison to Edu. Edu could back up any DM and CB position. There is improved play and understanding between Bradley and Jones as dual DM’s.

  2. EDU MUST PLAY NO MATTER HOW BAD HE IS! As mandated by Section 208A of the US Soccer Federation Rulebook, the U.S. National Team must have at least on Nigerian on the field at all times.

  3. Observations:
    * I am critical of the US because I want them to excel. They deserve a huge pat on the back for not giving in
    *Mexico could have scored 5 last night, easily
    *Guzan would be my choice. He has a calmer presence and despite being a good soldier for the US, Howard was crap in the two most important games he ever played (Ghana in WC and Mexico in Gold Cup ) for the US
    *JK deserves credit for getting a result amid all of the controversy but I still think he is clueless
    *Bradley is a PRO and should be captain
    *Did not miss any of the Germans
    Question: do you think Mexico responds in a positive to this?

    • Yes
      Not sure about that

      Not sure how you can say El Tri should have scored 5 but we didn’t miss any of the Germericans??? Does not compute. Also the Tim Howard comment is straight up cray cray

    • How can you see Edu and Beasley play and honestly say you wouldn’t have preferred Jones and Johnson? Beasley did great, considering he was out of position and Mexico had all intents of running the game right through his legs. Johnson is a full time left back and Mexico would have needed an entirely different game-plan if he were in the game. Edu looked mediocre defensively as usual, and added nothing to the attack. Jones is better on both sides.

    • I’ll be honest, I disagree with your last four points…in order:

      -Tim Howard should still be our undisputed #1. Howard has played plenty of important games in a USMNT shirt and done well–he singlehandedly kept us in our 1-0 win at Azteca last August, and while that was a friendly, its psychological impact was clearly visible in Guzan’s clean sheet last night. I think Guzan’s time will come after the Brazil World Cup–Timmy will be 35 then, I think, and may well want to retire from international football after Brazil.

      -I don’t think JK is clueless; he just isn’t a very good strategist. He has proven he can excel as a head coach (ie, the German national team) if he surrounds himself with the right staff. If he needs a Jogi Low/Tito Vilanova-type next to him, that’s fine. I’m less a fan of Martin Vazquez than I am of JK. Vazquez was one of the worst coaches Chivas USA has had, and that is saying something.

      -If JK named Bradley his captain, I would be 100% fine with it, but that doesn’t mean Dempsey did a poor job as captain. He gutted out two games at altitude despite almost certainly not being 100% fit due to injury. His leadership by example is phenomenal. Either of them (or Howard) could wear the armband in Boca’s absence and I’d be fine with it.

      -Watching Edu, Cameron, and DMB play, I DEFINITELY found myself missing Jones, Chandler, and Fabian Johnson. And I’m not even a big fan of Jones–that’s how awful Edu was at the Azteca.

      -I think if Chepo makes some adjustments to his team’s strategy–maybe pair Chicharito with a true #9 to keep opposing CB’s honest–they’ll do fine in the June fixtures. But the onus is definitely on him, otherwise, he’ll be out of a job by the end of summer, if not sooner.

      • Reply to all
        *Watch Guzan take the #1 spot
        *Mexico could have scored at least 5, take off the rose colored glasses
        *While Edu, etc. did not do well the chemistry was better w/o the Germans. There was fight and committment that was not there in Hoduras
        *JK is still pretty clueless and will never name MB captain. He is intimidated by him and that comes well sourced.

      • Eric,

        Re Howard,

        So you are saying the Mexicans were so intimidated by Howard that they failed to test Guzan sufficiently?

        In my experience usually that works the other way around. i.e. when the king is gone usually his successor gets tested for weakness right away, viciously and violently.

        But whatever, just remember that JK in 2006 had Ollie Kahn, a living legend and Jens Lehmann on that German World Cup team. Kahn was fading and Lehmann was having an exceptional year for Arsenal.

        Guess who played?

        I’m not ruling Howard out but JK is not sentimental and will play whichever keeper gets the best result.

      • That’s not what I’m saying at all. The psychological impact of the win was for the USA, it proved Azteca does not have to be an automatic loss, and our CB’s responded this week with career performances. Had nothing to do with Mexico’s team, everything to do with the US psyche.

        I’m not saying it’s sentiment, either. Howard is still in all likelihood the best American keeper in the world at the moment (excluding Friedel).

      • What Guzan’s emergence does is give Howard legitimate competition, something he has not had since Keller left.

        I prefer Guzan in every way and have so for a long time but at the very least the pressure should help Howard with his worst flaw, his tendency to get complacent and lose his concentration, often to disastrous effect. Timmy relies way too much on his athleticism and as he ages flaws start to show up.
        A fantastically athletic save can disguise the fact that you screwed up before the shot. But that won’t last.

        US fans have always given him a pass , in part because there really was no alternative.

        There should not be any automatic choices on this team and Guzan’s play now helps make sure there won’t be.

      • why shouldn’t there be automatic choices? Disagree. At some point, you want the core players to know they are those players, and that they accept that responsibility, and play with total confidence all the time not looking over there shoulder. There is a time and place for all of tha other stufft, but know is not it imo

      • *There is a time and place for all of that other stufft, but now is not it imo

        wish there was an edit feature 🙂

  4. Awesome time at the azteca. I could now scratch that off my “sport bucket list”. I highly recommend it. Was anyone else there? I took some pics if anyone is interested. They are on my instagram: i_am_martincito

  5. How epic the 3 points would have been. Mexico was wasteful and unlucky. They are hearing it from the fans. They are pissed. Similar to Tigres, the fans are pissed the coach took a B team to Seattle. Well, elimination is what they got due to the coach’s stubbornness. It’s a good day for US soccer.

    • Not sure they can blame the coach. Both Mexican announcers/commentators last night on ESPN agreed that the formation and players were the right combo.

      You have to look at the players themselves. Namely Dos Santos and Hernandez.

      • It’s weird.

        The kind of chances Chicarito got last night were the kind of he normally puts away for United.

        Sometimes, certain teams just have your number.

        And compared to what I’m used to Guardado was kind of lifeless.

        I’m just glad Peralta and de Nigris weren’t there.

  6. Mexico sure did pay a lot of attention to Beasley. I think Beasley should take over the LM spot until a player demonstrates he can bring something to the position Beasley does not bring. Beasley simply earned his spot. We know and have seen Beasley play both sides of the ball at that position. Beasley is fit. Takes care of himself. Has a very professional attitude and is humble. Let’s hope Beasley stays off the injury list at Puebla. Beasley, if you are reading, thank you and God bless.

    JK talks about the USMNT in transition. I hope he uses friendlies for that transitional period. The January camp paid off well with Gonzo and Besler. I hope Beasley is not taken out of consideration at LM because of an idea of transitioning the team. That would be counter productive. WCQ is tournament play. Arguably it’s in the best interest of competition to have your best players at all positions firing on all cylinders. Beasley rose to the top and I feel he has the respect of teammates, coaches, fans, and opponents.

    • Beasley was great. And he’s certainly earned the right to hope to be in the final 23 to Brazil. But for me, Gomez has to be one of the first 5 names on the team sheet. Fabian Johnson had a bad game against Honduras, but aside from that he has looked like one of our best players. Shea also has the potential to be one of our top players if he gets more playing time. In any case, Beasley deserves to be a permanent fixture in the squad. I just don’t know if he starts over a healthy Johnson, Shea, or Gomez.

      • I didn’t mention anything about permanent, but I get your point. Beasley should hold down the spot until somebody comes along and claims it from him.

  7. The USA played smart by forcing mexico to play to the USMNT’s strengths. I was thoroughly impressed by the teams high press in the first half and a possession orientated offensive approach. More impressing was their defensive shape as a unit. They avoided one vs one situations on defense which obviously Mexico tried to exploit, especially by going at Beasley all night.
    I noticed that Klinsmann took a page out of Italian Soccer mentality by funneling the attack of a superior attacking team by creating mini triangle pockets where it’s easy to stop the ground attack and thereby forcing Mexico to try to force difficult passes and rely on crossing the ball; which plays to the US advantage. Great team effort made up for the lack of individual quality.
    The US team looked smart.

  8. gotta say that klinsmann nailed his starting lineups for each of the last two games. even though edu turned out to be godawful, i still think that was the best pre-game decision klinsmann could make. really my only complaint is that jozy was subbed about 10 minutes too early against mexico, but if that’s all i can come up with…

    anyway, i still don’t think klinsmann’s all that great (as a manager), but results rule, and so far, he looks pretty good (especially seeing how competitive the hex has become).

    come on klinsmann, make me regret all the terrible things i’ve said about you.

    • Not to be hypercritical, after all a result is a result…but what subs worked? EJ gave little, Shea nothing, and Davis….I was still scratching my head as to what Klinsmann wanted from him from the right side..?

      • I agree Pancho. I was really confused how Beasley stayed on the pitch for the whole 90. He had one foul where I was scared it would be his second yellow and every sub had me wondering why they weren’t taking him off.

      • Who were you putting in? Another young MLS player? Shea or Davis? We were at our bare bones at LB. Beasley sacrificed himself for that point. Klinsi let him be the hero.

      • Beasley was simply the best option at LB on this roster. Period. He showed well enough for himself (given the result), especially since Mexico’s entire attack pretty much came down his side.

      • if you were hoping for a win, then i guess none of the subs worked.

        i agreed with the ej sub, if only because he kept the back line honest for a good 20 minutes (until we fully bunkered).

        shea and davis were only brought in because they are wide players who can defend when they have to. they did a decent job (except for that one play by davis), as evidenced by the fact that mexico did not score.

      • Davis was brought in because the only way we were scoring was off a set piece. Davis is the best set piece taker we had.

        EJ was absolutely useless. While I think Jozy deserved to get benched, EJ was just as lazy closing down space and chasing defenders.Boyd would have hustled and expelled as much energy in 20 minutes than most in 90.

      • Totally agree with this. EJ was a wasted sub. Would have loved to see Boyd instead. Talk about hunger.

      • “what subs worked”

        They all did. JK got the tie he needed.

        As best as I can tell JK said he took Jozy out because he was gassed and wanted more energy from a front running decoy in order to give the Mexicans something to think about.

        Davis for Herc was about Herc being gassed and his dead ball service not being great. If there was a set piece near the end Davis would be the guy to put the ball on Gonzo’s head.

        Zusi was gassed and Shea was brought to again to remind the Mexicans about what he did to them the last two games they played the US.

        They were all brought in to keep the Mexicans from going 100% on the attack.

        The idea was to preserve the tie and maybe if the opportunity came up they were also there to steal a late goal. Just because a US goal never came it doesn’t mean the subs didn’t work out. Maybe if you had left Jozy, Herc and Zusi in, they would have been too tired to prevent a late Mexican score.

        Sometimes just the threat of something is good enough.

    • Edu has good and bad games like any individual player. Edu, for the most part, when he had the ball had to go find a US player open to pass to and Mexico did a good job of closing down open players. I would have liked to see the midfield get open for each other off the ball, but I also am aware of the game plan of defending the wings and stifling Mexico’s attack.

      • If Edu had buried that volley instead of skying it, everyone would be praising his game right now.

    • one other thing (and i hope this doesn’t seem like i’m taking anything away from klinsmann–like i said, he nailed it):

      i am wondering how much the Straus Effect had to do with this turnaround. someone (biff?) has already mentioned it, and i immediately hated the thought that a simple article could have any effect whatsoever on a professional athlete’s effort.

      but you can’t help but see the difference in effort given between the honduras game and these two games. that’s what was so frustrating watching the honduras game–i certainly didn’t think it was a given that we’d win, or even tie–it just looked like our players didn’t give a crap.

      it reminded me of some recent chelsea games i’ve seen. with a few exceptions, it seems like they just don’t care anymore. except we haven’t won any titles recently.

      • What about the no-Germans effect? There were none on the field yesterday, and only Jones (who chose to go back to Germany after the Costa Rica game instead of staying with the team — Ronaldo just traveled to Azerbaijan with Portugal to support the team even though he couldn’t play) for the Costa Rica game.

      • The two situations are very different. Ronaldo did not have an injury he was out due to yellow cards. I would say 75-80% of Real players were on national team duty, what was Ronaldo going to back in Spain for? Now, if he had and injury the club that pays him would want him back for rehab and evaluation ASAP. I do not believe this has anything to do with JJ not wanting to stay and root on the TEAM USA

      • Which Germans would have replaced the starting XI?

        – Edu would have been benched which wouldn’t have been a bad thing.

        – Beasley would have been benched for Johnson. Beasley played with heart, but was lucky quite a number of times.

        – Potentially Chandler would have beaten Cameron which would have switched him to CB. I think this is the only fail zone. Now, we believe in two CBs who worked well together. Cameron now offers competition as a RB, a more natural position for him now.

      • What about pushing Chandler to RM? For me, Zusi was completely ineffective. I wouldn’t mind seeing someone else tried there (if LD does not make it back)

      • I loved seeing Chandler on the wing against Argentina and Paraguay when Bradley first called him in. Wouldn’t mind him getting another opportunity to do that since we have no real wingers.

      • I’m guessing by the time the June qualifiers roll around, Landon Donovan will be match fit, and he can slide back into the RM spot that Zusi has been keeping warm for him.

      • Nate,

        Can you tell me Denver and Azteca would have gone differently, better or worse, had Strauss not published his article?

        How are you going to prove that?

      • Since you feel Klinsmann’s tactics were so poor, what would you have done differently that would have gotten a point or even a win?

        We got 4 points in two of the toughest games in the Hex round. We got a point in Azteca for only the 2nd time in a competitive match. Tactics seemed fine to me. We were never going to control the play or go shot for shot with Mexico.

      • First, I wasn’t referring to this game specifically, which is my fault, I meant in general under klinsmann we have been unable to create many scoring chances and the lone forward who ever it may be never receives and service

        Second, no we are not going to go shot for shot with mexico, but hows about one shot. One single shot on frame, too much to ask?

      • “One single shot on frame, too much to ask?”

        No but I’ve seen many games where teams that were more or less evenly matched, have gotten one shot on target..


        And the US would have had that that if Cameron and Bradley had been a little luckier.

        As I saw it, the US was entirely committed to getting a tie and maybe stealing a win if possible.

        Ever watch Serie A?

        It’s called a tactical approach, or if you like an Italian approach. Why in the hell do you think Mikey stood out so well? He knows this stuff cold.

        And of course JK played in Italy so he understands pragmatic football.

      • While we got a great result under the circumstances, I would say that 1 pt is the best we could have hoped for given Klinsmann’s tactics. Honestly, aside from fielding a solid lineup, I think all 3 subs were poorly chosen in that they diminshed the team’s chances of scoring altogether whether or not they maintained our defensive ability.

        1. EJ should have come on for Zusi. Altidore was a key cog in the only threatening plays the US had. It’s laughable that almost every site that has published ratings has given Dempsey higher marks. If EJ’s gonna come on that early, subbing out Jozy is a mistake.

        2. Shea should have come in before/instead of Davis. He contributed little, but would have filled the same role and offered more chance of a moment of brilliance. He gets past/around defenders better, and Beasley could have deliver the set pieces to allow Bradley the chance for a header.

        3. The third sub is a wild card. Corona comes to mind as an attacking player who puts in a lot of MF work (as I’ve seen recently in Tijuana’s Copa Libertadores games) who also might have pinched off a miracle goal in a 10 minute stint.

      • Job one was to get at least a point.

        I maintain the subs were designed to make sure Mexico understood that the US was still capable of attacking them and maybe stealing a late goal.

        So as far as I’m concerned the subs worked. I guess you’d have to ask JK directly what exactly his intentions with each guy were.

        Maybe your subs would have worked better than JK’s. We’ll never know.

        What we do know is that whatever the US did it was enough to get a much needed point.

    • IMO it’s a little tough to grade JK on either of these two games b/c of the depleted player pool. He gets credit for the team playing hard and relatively cohesively under extremely adverse conditions. Other than that, it’s hard to say anything bc of the weird circumstances. The team is certainly not playing with the flair, style and offensive prowess that we want to see, but what can you expect from these games and these limited lineup options? I’m looking forward to the next phase and having some guys available. I think you can’t say anything negative about JK in these games, but the positive takeaways are also somewhat limited. He’s earned more time for sure.

      • Umm…slapping a defensive 4 and GK, most of whom had played very little together and several who had to play out of position and get 2 clean sheets in 2 of the toughest games says loads of positive things about Klinsmann’s managing skills.

      • I disagree.

        If you are talking about a set of two games like these last two, you judge a manager by what he does with what he has.

        It’s like a cook. The best cook I know can walk into my kitchen and make up a great meal from whatever was in there. If I did the same thing you’d leave with food poisoning.

        JK was given a player pool that was very short of what could be termed the best possible US player pool.

        Before the Hex the only guys on the field last night who were sure fire starters were Dempsey and Bradley.

        And out of that motely crew he put together a team that got the kind of results it would have been hard get even with his best players available.
        The last points the US got out of Azteca were 16 years ago remember? There’s a reason for that.

        The man can coach.

      • I meant more in interviews, but he was great on the field too. Better CB pairing than Cameron – Gonzo?

      • That’s a tough question. Both Cameron and Besler fulfill the same role relative to Gonzo–a more mobile defender with the vision and chops to be able to distribute the ball out of the back. Besler being left-footed helps, but nothing is a substitute for playing in a league like the BPL. I think going forward, Gonzo–Cam will be JK’s preferred CB pairing, but I expect Besler to duke it out with Goodson for the #3 spot in the pecking order.

        Though I also think this means that Boca’s USMNT career will likely end with this year’s Gold Cup. He has got to be, at best, #5 on JK’s depth chart at this point.

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