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Bradley and Altidore help lead USMNT to dominating HEX win vs. Panama

Jozy Altidore

Photo by John Dorton/


SEATTLE – Jozy Altidore has spent much of the last year answering any and all questions about his club career. It would seem he is now answering them for his national team.

Altidore’s third goal in as many matches provided the the U.S. Men’s National team with all the scoring it would need on the way to a 2-0 victory in front of 40,847 at CenturyLink Field on Tuesday.

After a slow start that saw Panama attack early, the Americans eventually settled down and controlled the match, with Michael Bradley taking charge in midfield.

It was one of Bradley’s many surging runs forward that sparked the opening U.S. goal, as he found Fabian Johnson on the left flank late in the first half, allowing Johnson to deliver a perfect ball to the back post where Altidore finished perfectly.

The Americans continued to dominate and found an insurance goal barely 10 minutes after the half when Geoff Cameron sprang Eddie Johnson with a perfectly-weighted long pass on the right flank. Johnson brought the ball down with a deft touch and delivered a left-footed finish in front of his hometown Seattle fans to secure the 2-0 victory.

“I think throughout the entire game we were in control of it,” said head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “Every area of the field, guys did their jobs.”

Klinsmann went on to characterize the match as “a complete performance.”

With Mexico and Costa Rica playing to a 0-0 draw earlier in the evening, the United States now sits alone atop the Hexagonal round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, with three of its remaining five matches on U.S. soil and a game-in-hand on Mexico.

The U.S. hosts Honduras on Tuesday night at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. Honduras topped the USMNT 2-1 in Februaury to open the Hexagonal round.

Panama, missing leading scorer Blas Perez to gastroenteritis, opened the match more aggressively than many expected. But while the Panamanians looked dangerous for much of the half—particularly down the left side—that same aggression gave the U.S. wide swaths of space to work the middle of the pitch.

After half-an-hour, that vulnerability cost the visitors.

In the 36th minute, Bradley—characteristically ferocious in defense and dangerous in distribution throughout the night—charged down the center of the pitch and fed Johnson as he raced into the left side of the penalty area.

“I was able to turn and there was some space and at that point you’re trying to drive forward, and to see as you move forward in the attack what the options are,” Bradley said. “Give big credit to Fabian. He joined in, in a strong way, and the ball he gave to Jozy was perfect.”

Johnson, putting in a solid night of work after a much maligned performance against Jamaica on Friday, deftly one-touched a far-post cross to Altidore, who likewise needed only a touch to beat goalkeeper Jaime Penedo.

The goal was perhaps some form of justice for Altidore, who seemed to have been clearly taken down in the penalty area only minutes earlier.

After the match, both Altidore’s teammates and his coach noted his increased tenacity of late.

“What we demand from him is that when you struggle, [you] fight your way back into the game and do your job for the team,” said Klinsmann, “and how he’s doing that the last couple of games is absolutely outstanding.”

“He’s done extremely well from that Germany game on,” added starting right back Brad Evans. “He’s been just an absolute beast up front for 90 minutes, putting in the work. It’s really impressive to see. I’m happy for him, really showing his ability. He’s still so young, but his talent is just endless, man. He’s an extremely good player.”

It was the national team’s first World Cup Qualifier in Seattle since 1976. Despite missing Graham Zusi to yellow-card accumulation and Jermaine Jones to a concussion, the U.S. would give the crowd more to celebrate, this time with a decidedly home-cooked flavor courtesy of Eddie Johnson.

In the 54th minute, Cameron released Johnson with a beautifully lobbed ball from deep in the midfield as the Seattle Sounder powered behind Panama’s back line. Johnson collected the pass with his right foot and easily beat a charging Penedo with a left-footed shot for the insurance goal.

“I saw that Geoff had time on the ball, and it was on his strong foot,” said Johnson. “I knew if it was on his strong foot, and if it was off his foot…I could make a run in behind.”

“I like my chances running without the ball,” he added with a grin.

The two-goal deficit seemed to take all the air out of the “Canaleros,” as they failed to seriously threaten over the remaining half-hour until forcing Tim Howard into a stoppage-time save.

“That’s why you have Tim Howard,” said Omar Gonzalez.

The U.S. now sits on 10 points from five HEX qualifiers, two points ahead of Costa Rica and Mexico. Honduras sits in fourth place with seven points while Panama has six. Jamaica has been all but eliminated with just two points from six matches.

“We are very pleased, but we still have another one to go,” said Klinsmann.

With the shutout, the U.S. has given up just a single goal in its last four World Cup qualifying matches, topping Costa Rica 1-0, drawing 0-0 with Mexico, and besting Jamaica 2-1 before Tuesday’s victory.

After the match, much of the credit went to the growing chemistry developing between the young center back tandem of Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler.

“I think Matt and Omar are both learning on the job really quickly,” said Bradley, “and they’re picking things up. And they’re understanding what this is all about. What it takes to win at this level.”

“They fine-tune things,” said Klinsmann. “More playing time means better understanding develops.”

Asked what he thought of the night’s events in Seattle and Mexico City, Bradley didn’t mince words.

“I think it’s a big night for us,” he said with a smile.


  1. I read this from the Arm Chair Analyst on the MLS page about one Josmer Altidore

    “Back to my first point: Altidore now has 90 professional goals for club and country, including 34 in the past 10 months. And he’s just 23. And he’s just now starting to get it.

    This is what it feels like to have a world-class forward.”


  2. Spurs Win…USA Win! It does not get much better than this. Cameron was a man on fire tonight. Bradley again proved to be pure class. Beasley solid again.( Any word about his next move?). Dare I say Donovan genuinely was not missed tonight?

  3. One thing I’d like to add about Jozy finding his form and confidence once scoring and then assisting Deuce in the Germany match is his attitude. For the past year+ we have seen him sulking up top, hanging his head, appearing lazy at times, his body language showing his frustration and irritation at not being able to produce. It seemed like he was playing more of the “victim” (of the system) role rather than someone who accepted it and gave everything he had to play within it – almost the “tail trying to wag the dog” type of thing, trying to prove to Klinsman that his system of having the lone striker up top just won’t cut it. I really don’t know what happened during the time between the Mexico match in March and the Germany friendly a couple of weeks ago – something certainly did – but his attitude seems to have done a complete 180. Against Germany, one of the most noticeable things for me (other than the spectacular goal and assist) was his work rate when not just staking his real estate up top and playing the traditional target, hold-up striker roll. He was coming back into the middle third of the field a lot more to win balls, surprising opposing defenders and mids, breaking up plays and stripping balls, and freeing up our mids to push forward on breaks into space. He has become the beast that he is supposed to be. But the interesting thing to me was that he started the Germany match right out of the gate with this new attitude, and then almost enigmatically got perfect service from Zusi and finished clinically. Maybe it was wrapping up his club season with 31 goals and hoisting the trophy, maybe he had an epiphany somewhere along the way, maybe he has a new guru, maybe it’s the soccer gods rewarding his new mental approach, I don’t know. But the little things he has started doing are turning into big things for the play of the squad overall, and now that he’s getting service and scoring again (three perfect balls, three perfect goals, in three consecutive games), there’s no telling what he is capable of. I’m not in any way overlooking the play of the rest of the team to set up the plays that lead to his goals – they deserve credit for sure, but I do think the shift in his attitude from the opening whistle in the Germany match was the catalyst for unlocking his scoring prowess that we are now seeing. New man, new player, new team, new hope.

    • “New man, new player, new team, new hope.”


      I get your point but it’s not really about Jozy.

      There is nothing new here, except maybe that JK finally has had close to his first team together for an extended run now, when it all really matters.

      He finally gets to say to them “Okay, nine points here and we are almost certainly in. You all now know the drill, you know what to do, it’s finally now or never, it’s time to put up or shut up”.

      USMNT fans are a particularly impatient lot and the point is sometimes things take time to gel. Players figure things out at different rates and all that you are seeing is that they finally are all getting it and finally believing in themselves and each other. When JK said it was about the team and not about individuals, he was not kidding.

      JK knows what should be obvious to everyone, that without this kind of real together bonded team unit the US does not have enough talent to go one on one with the big boys and prevail.

      But if they keep playing with the kind of confidence and cohesion they showed these last three games who knows how far they can go?

      JK has always been a very bad loser and it’s clear to me that he is very serious about making a lot of noise in the World Cup.

      • Fair point, GW. I guess I got carried away with myself and probably should have left out the last part about “new team,”. Of course, a cohesive team does not one player make. I didn’t mean to suggest that at all and that certainly wasn’t the point of my post (as I said above, “I’m not in any way overlooking the play of the rest of the team to set up the plays that lead to his goals – they deserve credit for sure”). My point is, Jozy is a completely different player than before the Germany match, and I believe it has everything to do with the change in his attitude and work rate. Only he can decide how to apply himself, and it looks like he has made the decision to submit to and accept the system and fully commit himself to it. And that really IS about Jozy.

  4. Geoff Cameron is like Phil Jones. A big, rangy player that can be put nearly anywhere in the back and do well.

    I watch Stoke City matches so I was not surprised at all with this performance from Cameron. It is his typical performance. He did very well in the EPL last season against very good opponents, which is a surprise, and rare for a MLS’er to break onto a team and immediately perform at a high level.

    • True, and like Jones, he can play midfield as well but all in a pinch because they should really settle on one position.

  5. MB/Cameron pairing was a revelation….fantastic chemistry.They complement each other so well. Cameron has size and speed…. great defender around the box, especially on the high stuff. He’s the best fit with MB…mostly shading behind MB…need to see if they can repeat that performance against Honduras.

  6. traveled to Seattle from San Francisco, was not at all disappointed. The entire team did very well, but Geoff Cameron really stood out. Nice goals by Jozy and Eddie Johnson, Dempsey was unlucky and so was Beasley.

    And Seattle is a great soccer town. Why I’d prefer more qualifiers in San Francisco, if I must travel, Seattle is a great place to go for a game.

  7. Lots of sloppy giveaways in the midfield from a team as technically proficient as Panama. Good work by the U.S. in gobbling those up and turning them into attacking opportunities.

    Love to see Eddie Johnson on the pitch, he gives the U.S. a quick burst of speed on the wing that I think they otherwise lack. As much as I like Zusi for his crossing, dead ball skills, and willingness to track back on defense, I love having that spark that EJ provides. I would always at least have EJ on the bench as a late-game change-of-pace substitution.

    • EJ and Zusi both bringing plenty, nice options, and EJ has some versatility he’s been showing. He’s a top performer in this region for sure

  8. It seems to me that the US has a problem. What if Donovan gets back into form, Holden becomes his old self, Cherundolo gets well and Chandler plays well for his club? Where are we going to put all those good players? A # of good players may have to sit in the next round and/or in Brazil. Klinsmann, by throwing out so many players, putting many into positions they aren’t used to, has created the deepest, most versatile US squad ever. Not even close. I have questioned what he has done at times. Maybe it’s time we recognize that he has been building a strong and deep team and he has a method to his madness and knows what he is doing. Another thing, I think he has had more faith in the team than a lot of US fans. Even when it seemed dicey in the group play of the qualifiers, he kept saying there wasn’t a problem. “When he left Jozy off the team, then Donovan, I think he realized that the US could get through even without those players and this gave him a chance to try out/develop new players while lighting a fire under the established stars. You figure that we are almost certain to beat Jamaica at home, so if we beat Honduras in a week, we can start buying tickets for Brazil. It’s time to give Klinsmann his due.

    • I’ve been wondering that myself just looking at the Gold Cup provisional roster. Even without many of our top names that roster looks dangerous. I can’t say our B squad has ever had that much firepower.

    • Klinsi has earned his due given the results. He knows CONCACAF plays with loaded dice when it comes to qualifying. He can do some legitimate experimenting even though some of us don’t like it. Doesn’t take away from the “fun” of worrying, thinking, debating and fretting over the process. I’m kinda sad it seems that Brazil is a foregone conclusion with only half of the Hex completed. I actually expected a draw tonight and I wasn’t even worried about that. USA!

    • he has picked his players, and is always referring to “our group”

      it’s what coaches do right? they believe in people, and the question is always do the players respond and believe back, for whatever reasons. it’s happenning the last 3 games

      this next test is to earn the hammerlock position. And I really hope Coach gets it straight with LD to blow this team up when the time comes

    • Gary Page,

      The US is at 10 points with 5 games to go

      1. Honduras home
      2. Jamaica home
      3. Mexico home
      4. Costa Rica away
      5. Panama away

      Typically 16-17 points has gotten you third place and qualification

      If the US beats Honduras next week then they have 13 points. That means they will have two home games and two away games to get at least 4 points to be safe. That would be 4 ties or one win and one tie..

      I think the US can get at least 9 more points from the remaining games. What do you think?

      • Honduras will be hard
        Mexico will be hard, they are winning away
        Costa Rica will be hard, we can’t count on another snowstorm
        Jamaica we can beat
        Panama we should atleast get a tie

        As long as they don’t take the foot off the gas we should be fine

      • Mexico is not winning away. They beat Jamaica 1-0. They’ve drawn their other 2 games.

        That being said, they’re never an easy out.

      • El Tri are in deep moderation.

        They only have four games left and they are all tough ones with fellow contenders the US, Honduras, Panama and Costa Rica.

        They only have 8 points and historically it takes at least 16 to get third place.

        A loss to the US would mean they would almost certainly have to run the table with the other three.
        I wouldn’t want to take odds on Chepo’s chances of being employed at the end of this.

    • Excellent comment Gary Page. Klinsmann has earned the right to say “trust me”… our team is now developing a unique quality where injuries/suspensions/non-inclusions are not crisis situations, but instead opportunities. I think the Gold Cup is going to be a terribly interesting affair. I can’t imagine a USA player who won’t be unbelievably motivated, and lifting the trophy is frankly an expectation (particularly given Mexico’s Confed Cup obligations).

      • yes.

        “…our team is now developing a unique quality where injuries/suspensions/non-inclusions are not crisis situations, but instead opportunities.”

        I think i’ve had an uneasy feeling in my gut since Cherundolo went down injured in the gold cup final… only over this last run of games has it begun to evaporate.

  9. Ok I’m gonna throw this out there….What are the chances we bench Jones in favor of Cameron?

    Not saying I don’t love the way Jones has played the past couple games, but with Cameron as the pure #6 and Bradley able to join the attack…..We look good (to be read in the voice of Ron Burgandy).

    • I don’t see it. Cameron was lights out and I hope he starts filling that role for his club team so he can eventually replace Jones there next cycle; however, he just isn’t as polished as Jones is. I wouldn’t expect him to be as much of a factor as Jones can be when playing against a more quality opponent…yet.

      • If you meant just for Honduras then you might have a point though. I don’t want to see Jones risk his health.

    • “I’ll buy that, for a dollar.”

      Why not? We can afford to rest Jones now and not tempt fate with the concussion issue.

    • amru,

      I wouldn’t.

      This was a great game but it’s just one game against an outclassed and outmanned opponent. .

      In the World Cup, and I’m willing to bet your house that the US gets there now, they will be meeting much better, more sophisticated, more imposing, nastier teams than Panama. And the US won’t be at home.

      Cameron will prove useful in that environment but he is still comparatively inexperienced. Overall, this is a very inexperienced team and though JJ has never been to the World Cup, his Champion’s League and Bundesliga experience, his relentless attitude, his superior skills overall, means he starts as long as he can play.

    • Cameron played great tonight, no doubt. But let’s remember that it was one game, at home, against Panama. We as fans often love to make knee jerk reactions based on single game performances (I’m as guilty of it as anyone), such as “so and so should never see the field again”, or “so and so should be an automatic starter”. Lest we forget, before we go anointing Geoff Cameron our starting #6, a week and a half ago we hung 4 goals on a Germany squad that was considerably better than this Panama team (even thought it was Germany’s B team) with MB and JJ in the midfield.

      JJ and MB are clearly the two best center mids we have, and it’s not close. Now, Cameron’s performance tonight definitely puts him in the conversation and gives us another depth option. I’d say Mo Edu and Danny Williams should be nervous about their prospects. And I’d say the showing Cameron just had makes Kyle Beckerman all but irrelevant.

      As much as I hate to agree with Twellman, he had a great point tonight that if Cameron’s WC spot wasn’t cemented before tonight, it certainly is now. His versatility makes him an absolute must have.

  10. “Genuinely hate it when referees play politics on the field instead of attempt to answer every call as accurate as possible on a case by case basis. I am aware it is an unspoken part of managing emotions on the field but it is sickening and not all referees tamper so blatantly.”

    I get the feeling these refs are beginning to respect the US a little more, now that we’re showing well. Not as many tick-tack fouls called on us as before. But I always see calls/no-calls that are one-sided against the US, IMO. That’s life in CONCACAF.

  11. Man of the match for me was Stu Holden!! Dude looked like he was fighting back tears waiting to run onto the field!!! Good for Stu

    • Man it did look great, that shot behind as he was coming on for Jozy I believe and I kind of welled up with pride and happiness. Something about Holden is different with me, I just feel like he deserves the best for how amazing his attitude has been and how he loves the badge and the highest level of competition.

      Oh, and die in a fire Johnny Evans.

  12. I know it has been mentioned before but the yellow card situation is absurd… and Cameron receiving one for a make-up call on a clear dive moments earlier? Genuinely hate it when referees play politics on the field instead of attempt to answer every call as accurate as possible on a case by case basis. I am aware it is an unspoken part of managing emotions on the field but it is sickening and not all referees tamper so blatantly.

    Zusi and Jones will be welcomed back but, yes, Cameron made a strong case for himself. EJ as well. Shame for Beasley about the post and missing the next match to this bizarre rule, he looked sharp.

    Jozy and Dempsey connected very well. I have been in favor of Altidore over the alternatives for years but now his place in the xi is undeniable. His game has progressed leaps and bounds.

    Bradley is superb. Howard stepped up when he was questioned. The best the team has looked offensively since the Scotland friendly.

    Negatives are that the bench seems rather limited (injures and cards) and the team was shutting down late mentally and physically. I’d still like to see Diskerud and Lichaj as late options off the bench.

    tl:dr; very proud.

  13. Also want to say I loved Cameron today. I agree with Lalas and Keller it was against Panama which is a team we should beat and therefore its still Jones’ spot without question when he’s well again. That being said this is likely Jones’ last cycle. I really hope Cameron doesn’t get sucked into that jack of all trades but master of none trap and starts getting quality DM minutes at the club level. He really could have a future there.

  14. for all the haters who have hated the living crap out me over the past 5 years on this site when I consistently said Eddie Johnson was more than meets the eye and the hate was mostly hearsay after a few bad performances in England (and Wales)…. my rump is high in the air waiting for you to kiss it…

    he now has 11 goals in 16 WC Qualies… say what you want but the GAM puts in work during CONCACAF play. Well done Edward.

    • I was happy when he came back to the USMNT but got worried when it appeared as if he was only scoring off of headers for a while there. He’s scored some pretty sweet goals since then.

      Kudos to old EJ.

    • Credit to EJ for stepping up his game. I don’t think he pulls down that ball 2 or 3 years ago. That was a great first touch. I will admit that I used to feel EJ was too reliant on his speed and didn’t develop his technique enough.

  15. What happened on that card for Beasley? I didn’t notice anything during the kick and the TV feed was focusing elsewhere when the play finished. I wouldn’t have even known it happened if the announcer hadn’t mentioned it. Was it after the play or during the kick?

  16. Oh man you’re right about all these quality legit scoring chances Jozy was a part of. And all of this despite being covered by what columnists (including Ives) were saying is one of concocafs best centerback pairings.

      • More than that. After settling down he put together some nice passes both to relieve pressure and to launch the attack, got the assist, and he was everywhere on the defensive side breaking up plays. At one point he even stole the ball when the Panamanians had him 2v1. He was fantastic.

  17. Great game. Great performances from Cameron, Bradley, and Jozy. Also, Holden being subbed at the end was great. He’s now seen action in 2 of the last 3 matches.

  18. formation change for the Germany game and all has changed since. Klinnsman gets an A for using a system that gives Jozy a partner up top so he’s not mauled by multiple players all game, and also helps him to press the defense up in unison instead of alone. The formation change has also once again provided quality width thru wide midfielders instead of asking the outside backs to do it.

    it’s old school US formation injected with sweet upgrades in tactical possession imo…it was awesome tonight

    agree it was the best game under Klinnsman yet

      • no one’s running anyone out of here my friend. this is a fun little community here Ives has fostered

        I just watch the games, believe what I see whether it was what I thought before or not, and try to stick to the facts

        welcome to the board

    • +1 it’s amazing what Jozy can do with some service. Props to Klinsman for getting the right guys on the feild. Hopefully the days of 3-4 DM are over

      • If you look at the straight numbers, the 3-4 dmids “produced” as well, protecting our week defense until they were ready to get off the milk and on the meat. I am not saying I liked it, but they won games, ugly, but won. IMO props to JK. He saw things, I think, that I didn’t.

      • I’m going to disagree with this. The dmid thing was part of trying to evolve the team into a 4 3 3

        that plan has been scrapped.

    • Man i rarely do anymore. This site is more of a gentleman’s site. is good for trolling as well. I troll Seattle there all the time, in MLS, but when it comes to CCL or the nats i root for Seattle. I would say , like many others, put grass in there and make that the nats home in lieu of Columbus.

  19. Jozy was the MoM for me…the goal, he uncalled penalty, the layoff to Beasley for a shot that hit the post and a shot that lead to a rebound that Dempsey knocked off the crossbar, plus another through -ball that Dempsey sent wide that’s more scoring chances than U.S. has seen since perhaps the Scotland and the home A&B game… Cameron and Bradley and Jozy are all very close at the top in terms of performance tonight…

  20. Great performance Today for the USMNT, and amazing crowd in Seattle. Bradley absolutely dominated i’d love to see how much ground he actually covered. It seemed like he was everywhere on the pitch today.

  21. Geoff Cameron was great. MB90 and Jermaine Jones are too similar. Jozy is a true target man. Seems that Jurgen is finally getting them to play the way they want. Watching the flow, and the interchanging, you would have thought you were watching some, top 5 national team, or one of the top squads in La Liga.

    Great performance

  22. Yeah, and this is without Cherundolo and a healthy Jones, Holden or Gonez or an in-form Donovan. If those pieces fall into place this side could get potent. It’s a nice time to see the system starting to pay off. Here’s to an equally strong performance in Utah!

    • I would not assume all those players, even though they may be better individually than some of the folks who played tonight, would improve the system…

  23. key WORD..DOMINATING!!! when was the last time we treated a minnow team like a minnow team??? Cameron and Eddie Johnson played their positions to the T…..excellent soccer today

  24. Best game of the Klinsmann era. I thought the commitment to possession was very effective and it was the primary factor in containing Panama. The team can still get better in generating attacks out of midfield, but I’d score that game an 86 out of 100.

  25. Sexiest performance of all time by the USMNT? They possessed that ball like Spain at some points. They are clearly buying into the system and wow look at the results.

  26. Ill eat crow on Cameron, he performed really well at CM and I was surprised/pleased to see that. Altidore was again active tonight, thought he played well. Also can’t wait to see people bash the crowd in Seattle even though 41k showed up on a Tuesday night which is like 9th all time for a WCQ in the US.

    • Good of you to eat your crow and admit your mistake. Time for Jozy haters to man up and admit they were wrong. We saw tonight what makes him a different quantity than any striker USA has ever had. We’ve had strikers with good touch, with hard shots, with speed and size, with 1v1 skills, are good in the air, that can hold up the ball, and can distribute the ball, but we’ve never had one that can do ALL those things. Potentially, Jozy is that guy, a complete number 9.

      • By the way, what’s my biggest misread? I watched MB every game as a MetroStar and had absolutely zero idea what the big deal was. I didn’t become a believer until late in his Heerenven season. I am extremely happy to eat my crow on that one. Dang that MB is gooooood. I’d like to think my awareness of the subtleties of the game has grown since then.

      • I have never been a fan of Jozy Altidore as a USMNT player, and I am usually verbally punished on this site quite harshly when I voice my dislike of his play. But tonight I was very happy with his performance.

        His touch was phenomenal, his decision making was brilliant and his shots were all on goal (if not in the back of them).

        However, even more than the goal he made, what I most liked most about his performance tonight was when he fought hard for the ball in the box and then earned a penalty (which was an error by the ref). I am so happy to see him fight with heart.

        I would still like to see Klinsmann send him to train with the Marines for a week or two to learn how to use that strong frame of his to fight even harder, but for tonight, my hat is off to him.

        Great job Jozy.

      • Ive never been a Jozy hater, I think he is critical for the USMNT. He is clearly the most talented striker in our pool as far as im concerned, we are a significantly better side when he is playing well. I still hope Klinsmann doesn’t try to force Cameron into the side at RB, he just doesn’t fit there. If you want to use him at CB or CM fine but not outside

      • He can play right back (left back and even right mid) no probs but has to consistenly play there -not be bounced to/from DM, center back, right back. same thing with left back. He is really not needed at either full back positions for the nats so he should either be starting or backing up DM or center back for the nats regardless of where he plays for his club. Finally, he would be a better partner (he has a better touch than OG) to Besler at center back but i can understand JK wanting OG to earn that spot as he is a few inches taller than Cameron.

  27. A few thoughts:

    -Bradley and Cameron were amazing tonight, as a pairing. Cameron reminding a lot of people what he can do in the midfield and the ability he has before focusing purely on defense.

    -Altidore, showing the physicality, touch and maturity it takes to be our leader up top.

    -Besler/Gonzalez: solid showing. Gonzo still tried his best to give up a goal. He really needs to get it together for a full 90 minutes but I’m glad he and Besler continue to get vital reps together, going towards Brazil.

    -Evans: He brings a lot to attributes to a team and has earned his spot. Unfortunately athleticism and speed aren’t two of those attributes…crossing my fingers no other opposing manager notices this. (/sarcasm)

    -Guzan: Didn’t play, right? Nope, but with the late yellow card to Howard…”next man up” applies to Guzan against Honduras.

    Great showing and as many of echo’d, one of the best (if not THE best) performances under JK. He deserves credit too.

      • “I don’t believe Howard was booked.”

        Looked like it to me. I’d love to be wrong, though.

      • No mention of it on FIFA’s site or US’ matchtracker, nor was it mentioned by the TV announcers, so if it happened, just about everyone missed it.

      • Hmm. Interesting. I still don’t know if that is accurate. I feel like there is no way it wouldn’t have been mentioned if he was suspended. Also, he hasn’t been on “the list” of players carrying a yellow for the US. Messy all around by CONCACAF and FIFA I suppose.

      • Yeah, I wasn’t aware that he was carrying or which match he was carrying from. It’s kind of a ridiculous rule.

      • Right, Beasley was the booking.

        I’d not be surprised to see Jones given the Honduras match off as well, just because Cameron played DM so well it allows them to be safe and not rush Jermaine back. It’s not likely Honduras is going to play more aggressively than Panama tried to tonight.

      • “I’d not be surprised to see Jones given the Honduras match off as well, just because Cameron played DM so well it allows them to be safe and not rush Jermaine back.”

        I think you’re absolutely correct and I’m a big fan of Jones’ game, for better or worse.

      • I’m pretty sure I saw Howard got booked near the end of the match. Howard was jawing with a Panama player right before a goal kick when the ref held the card over his head. For a second it looked like Howard was telling the ref to get out of the way when he was trying to place the ball for a restart, but I think he was talking smack to the Panamanian. I’m probably wrong though.

      • Howard was taking his time but not in a disrespectful way that warranted a yellow card. After watching a Mexico match, it’s always night and day for what actual time wasting is and what is just gamesmanship.

        Howard was guilty of gamesmanship, Mexico-time wasting as if he was shot by a sniper.

        The Panama player yelled at Howard in the midst of this and Howard didn’t take kindly to the player OR the ref and yelled at them both and ushered them out of his way to kick.

        Well, I guess I was right. I didn’t want to be but this confirms what I saw.

      • This is from the report on us

        “Misconduct Summary:
        USA – Jozy Altidore (caution) 56th minute
        PAN – Marcos Sanchez (caution) 69
        USA – Geoff Cameron (caution) 69
        USA – DaMarcus Beasley (caution) 90+2
        USA – Tim Howard (caution) 90+3”

    • Not only was Gonzales ball watching, he was also a good two yards behind the defensive line. Regardless of the other :89, he continues to make fatal errors.

      The TV footage showed the center official giving a card to either Howard or a Panamanian,
      But perhaps Beasley was just out of the shot.

      Other coaches and players will notice…

      • Tejeda split the center backs as a center forward should. Besler needs to communicate with Omar in that situation. And, Omar needs to talk with Besler to make sure who has that man. Thankfully, Timmy came off his line. I do think the understanding between Besler and Omar is getting better with each game.

    • According to Soccerway, that’s Howard’s 1st YC in WCQ. He won’t sit against Honduras.

      If he does sit any time soon though, we’re in capable hands.

    • His goal was pure class, but otherwise I thought Johnson was pretty useless. It took him 70 minutes to start giving any help defensively. Jozy routinely had to track back to cover some of his defensive responsibilities.

  28. I can’t remember if Jozy has ever had such a fantastic game overall. Drew a penalty that wasn’t called, shrugged it off and scored. Held up fantastically all night. His passing and vision was fantastic all over. Just brilliant.

      • That would be my 1st guess.

        Though I wouldn’t be surprised to see Castillo @ LB, Fabian @ LM, and Zusi @ RM. It fits Klinsi’s mentality of having the back who can overlap, and the midfielder in a position of support with high pressure.

      • Have to agree with Fabian LB and EJ at LM. The only way Castillo gets in the lineup is at the expense of EJ but I think he earned another start with tonights performance.

    • Bealsey is our left back. How many games like these do you need to see? His chemistry with Besler is superb- there was an article that talked about how Beasley shouts out experienced instruction, and Besler shouts out defensive warnings- IT WORKS. I don’t remember the last time we had a left back playing this well and this consistently- he’s playing better than Johnson.

      Fabian Johnson has been a left midfielder for the best run of offensive form we’ve had in years, and it’s in qualifiers. IT WORKS.

    • My gut reaction is to say keep Eddie on at LM, bring Zusi back at RM and put Fab Johnson at LB, but now I’m not so sure. Though Eddie scored a great goal tonight, I like him more as a sub for Altidore or a winger late to inject some fresh legs and plenty of speed to put pressure on a tired D. Because of that I’m gonna say Zusi right, Fab Johnson left, Castillo LB and Eddie as a super sub. The bigger question for me is: JJones or Cameron?

      • All depends on the Concusion test. GC had a great game but Honduras is much more dangerous and better than Panama, and JJ has done nothing to lose his spot and brings more overall that GC to Mid Field.

        I think GC cemented his spot on the team for 2014. He was at risk of being an odd man out, but now that he demonstrated he can cover 3 positions decently in case of injury/suspension I think he has a spot on the team. It will put a lot of pressure on EDU and Williams to stay on.

    • Now that Fabian is finding his feet at LM I don’t expect JK to move him. I think you see Castillo. Not saying that is what I would do, but it’s what I Expect from JK.

    • If the US can secure 16 points (meaning a guaranteed WC berth) by September, I’d bet Corona gets a start in the October matches.

  29. Excellent performance USA, never really looked like the result was in doubt. Played like Germans, go figure!

    BTW Eddie Johnson = Edson Buddle here’s the math, you can’t even tell the guy is on the field for two thirds of the game, then he flashes Luis (the biter) Suarez skill to bring the ball down and complete a world class finish. Then… He switches to looking like a guy playing his first ever soccer game. It’s unbelievable they are the same player.

  30. I’d like to point out that Howard came off his line to it’s to party away a dangerous ball AND came up with a huge save in the 90th to save Omar’s bacon.

    This was one of the most satisfying matches to watch. The US managed this game with such skill and competence…. This without the favored XI starting. Just thrilling to see the team firing on all cylinders.

    And again, they are not just scoring goals, but scoring high class goals. My only regret was that Beasely did not finish on that terrific run… Class.

  31. Close to a complete game as the US has had in years and especially under Jurgen Klinsmann. The US should have had a few more goals. Still a very satisfying result with excellent attacking sequences. Defense needs to tighten up still bit you can see it getting better each game.

    • The Hispanic commentators on Unimas / Univision were bubbling with complements for the USA. After the scathing criticism from them in the wake of our shoddy performance v. Belgium, it was a night and day, sea change. Some of the things they said – “the best we have seen the USA play in the entire Klinsmann era. The USA looking like it has finally started to gel under Klinsmann, stellar performances from Altidore, Bradley, both Johnsons, etc. – a dominating performance.”
      The guy calling the live game was singing out, “Here it is! The second GOAL!!!” while Cameron’s ball was still in the air, not even halfway to Johnson’s foot.
      It is good. Very good. Mmmmmmmmm huh.

    • Mexico ties again against CR. What’s alarming for Mexico is they can’t score goals at home. Is the Mexican mystique crumbling a bit? CONCOCAF doesn’t seem scared by el tri anymore.

      • I think what is happening is countries are learning how to play them. so their usual game plan is no longer working.

      • Too many of their players dont play at altitude. So the Azteca effect cuts both ways now. They are a better team and more likely to do serious damage at a World Cup now, but less dominant at home.

    • That’s ridiculous. We want Mexico in the WC. They’re simply missing that central midfielder, ala Michael Bradley or Blanco, who distributes and can make the incisive pass. Mexico is very, very solid, but they need to do some serious digging through their pool to find a central playmaker. I’m very impressed with their defense.

      • That’s exactly it. They are missing the #10 – the Pele, the Wesley Snjeider, the Claudio Reyna, the di Stefano in the middle that unlocks the opposing defense and orchestrates the attack, and dictates the tempo of play..
        There are other worn or nearly threadbare parts of their complex football machine (longer story, that) – but really that is their problem they haven’t found their #10 yet.
        Gio ain’t it.

      • agreed, i think it would look bad for CONCACAF to not have Mexico. and you are spot on, just like Ramos said, Mexico are lacking that midfielder who can create. which is weird because Dos Santos usually does that very well against the US…

    • In a selfish way I would derive joy from that. But remember, this is not good for CONCACAF. Our 3.5 spots allocation at the World Cup are something of a gift compared to what teams in most regions go through. We get to keep them because we have been putting teams into the knockout rounds consistently recently. Unless you truly believe that Mexico would do poorly at the WC, it doesn’t make sense to wish that they don’t make it. And besides, how great was it to knock them out in 2002?

      • What region do you think deserves more spots? Can’t say Asia (even though almost half of the Global Population lives there), because there is a huge drop off from the top 3 teams in terms of quality. Europe already has so many. South America is pretty balanced but they don’t have that many countries. Africa get’s 5 which IMO is a bit high.

        In truth CONCACAF should get 4 and Africa should go to a 4.5.

  32. We could have scored five or six goals tonight. Some of the best football we’ve played under JK.

    My MOTM is Bradley, but I think you could make arguments for Jozy as well. We’re in a great spot.

    • The second goal, amazing. But go back and watch the replay of the first goal. That pass to Bradley, simple, perfect, right into the space where Bradley can make that run. And so many times when I just, that was ridiculous. Even if Panama didn’t put up much of a fight, he needs to get his shot against Honduras. Let Jones recover.

    • He was really great. Reminded me of him bossing some MLS-types around in Houston.
      And the combo play with EJ was magic. Perfect pass, perfect run to stay onside, perfect first touch and perfect left-footed finish.
      Great, great stuff.

    • One of the big keys I think was Cam allowed MB to range forward with much more confidence than he does with JJ. They worked really, really well together.

      • Excellent point TomG, I noticed that as well. Jones is a great player but he definitely limits MB’s ability to go forward when he has to cover for Jone’s tendency to be unpredictable.

      • Exactly. He did everything he did today, which was stellar, while completely complementing what Bradley had to do. He gave Bradley that pass into space for the goal. He was invisible like a DM should be, until he wasn’t. I can’t get over it.

      • jjusa,

        It might be more accurate to say that the relationship between Cameron and MB is more clearly defined.

        MB attacks, Cameron defends, for the most part, MB tells Cameron what to do and he follows orders.

        JJ is as experienced if not more so than Mikey. JJ is also a better offensively than Cameron so the dynamic between him and Mikey is very different.

        What tonight’s performance does is make Mo Edu’s place in the team a little less secure.

      • Cameron had an assist tonight. It was spectacular. He was a beast on both sides of the ball tonight, not just that pass.

      • “What tonight’s performance does is make Mo Edu’s place in the team a little less secure.”

        …and that’s a beautiful thing, from my vantage point.

        Great point.

      • Agreed about the more defined roles. The interesting thing, though, is how well it worked and this is twice now if you count the second half of the Jamaica game. It is possible that a straight DM like Cam might be a better partner for MB and better for the team in general. Cam also showed a fine sense of how to pick his spots to make plays.

      • Totally Agree, Cameron’s hard work freed bradley, nothing against Jermaine Jones I think JJ is great, but really impressed with Geoff Cam.

    • Really interesting game. In a certain sense – and hear me out on this – it makes me think the U.S. players don’t need Kilnsmann. They seemed almost to play without him – without the psychic over-bearing presence that has been felt for the past 22 months. The play was liberated: the passing was crisp and fast, movement was very good the majority of the time, and most importantly, there was some imaginative and thoughtful futbol going on. A caveat however: Panama was a poor side last night; their midfield was weak and with the exception of several occasions, they just couldn’t get anything going in the final third. Lastly, Beasley: what a game for him; making that driven run in the final minutes. Fantastic desire, one of my favorite players.

      • Without Klinsmann? What you saw last night was the type of play he has been implementing over the past 22 months. You cannot take a team that is accustom to being told 1) hunker down defensively 2) beat teams with your athleticism and 3) you don’t posses the skill to knock the ball around that other teams do. Its a process to change that style of thinking it, and is definitely not something that can be done over night. I have grown to have faith in him due to the fact that as of late all the moves he makes are the right ones. You think it’s an accident that our two outside backs are converted midfielders? He could have played Parkhurst or Lichaj or both but he chose to go with players who are comfortable with the ball at their feet. You are seeing a team that has been empowered by their coach and they have responded playing with a confidence with which we have never seen before. Not to mention they are doing all of this without one of their major play makers (LD). Pele once said if the US ever started playing a possession based soccer the world would be in trouble. I’m not saying we are there yet but patience is a virtue.

      • +1

        While there is hyperbole on both sides of the Klinsmann discussion, the team played exactly like he’s been preaching since August 2011.

        It’s hilarious to me that, after finally getting the show we expected from a JK team, people are saying that the team doesn’t even need him. It’s moronic.

      • Exactly. It’s gone like this:

        (1) We need Klinsmann!
        (2) Yay! We got Klinsmann!
        (3) This not “jogo bonito.” Grumble, grumble…
        (4) We suck! Fire Klinsmann!
        (5) Wait a sec…we might be pretty good. Didn’t even need Klinsmann!

      • People? Where have you seen someone else make a similar comment? Let me know of course.

        Conceptually speaking, I think it’s a “player’s” game, unlike, say, American football, which is a manager’s game, not to mention very imperial in nature, as opposed to futbol which is purely a democratic sport of the people.

        A manager in futbol really can only help (or hurt) with the vibe and tone he intentionally or unintentionally sets. Yes, of course, a manager can make disastrous tactical decisions: mis-positioning of players, mistaken style of play, and so on, but this happens less the further you go up the food chain of pro futbol. So in this vein, making the correct decisions on these fronts, in many respects, is easy: you play – that is, you coach – with the players you’ve got; their style, their skills, their personas, etc.; these criteria dictate the direction of all managerial decisions.

        France in 2010 was a good example of a team dripping with talent, and lots of massive egos with which to tend, but yet spun out of control with poor management of vibe and tone. The only thing that came out of that locker was a pungent, acidic signal of distrust and utter unhappiness. The ultimate culpability fell on Domenech and his staff. It was entirely unable to herd a talented group of cats.

        When I hear about Klinsmann’s staff working with the team on things like diet, as I did several months ago, I just wonder… really? Do these players – the “elite” of the U.S. player pool – really not have a grasp of something as fundamental as diet at this point in their careers? It ain’t rocket science. It all leaves me deeply perplexed. I wonder about the effect that this aspect of “training” may have on the players’ psyches. It feels way too heavy. Last night, I saw team that got a psycho-emotional reprieve, a team that was getting closer to the cosmic levitation that futbol has to offer every once in a while.

      • Do you know where/when Pele made this comment? Just tell me what website or newspaper. (Because I don’t think a post to with another actual URL will be allowed to be published here.)

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