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Altidore winner leads USMNT past Honduras in World Cup qualifying

Jozy Altidore

Photo by John Todd/


SANDY, Utah– The referee’s assistant raised his flag in the warm Utah air and defied the screaming fans at Rio Tinto Stadium. He waved off a Jozy Altidore goal (rightfully) for offside, denying Altidore what would have been his fourth goal in four consecutive matches, and denying the U.S. a goal after 59 frustrating minutes of scoreless soccer.

At least for 14 more minutes.

Altidore made sure that neither the referee’s assistant or the Honduran defense denied him the next time he had a chance on goal, burying a Fabian Johnson pass for the game winner in the 73rd minute to give the U.S. Men’s National Team a 1-0 World Cup qualifying victory over Honduras at Rio Tinto Stadium on Tuesday night.

The victory, coupled with Costa Rica’s victory vs. Panama on Tuesday night, leaves the U.S. two points clear of the rest of the field in CONCACAF qualifying, and six points ahead of fourth-place Honduras with four rounds of Hex matches remaining.

The U.S. entered the match as heavy favorites against a short-handed Honduran side, but they couldn’t convert their dominating edge in possession into goals as the ‘Catracho’ defense held firm in the first half.

The Americans eventually began to find a better rhythm in the second half and appeared to break through when Altidore slipped behind the Honduran defense to slot home a goal that sent the sellout crowd into euphoria, only to have the goal disallowed for offside.

The U.S. kept pressing and finally unlocked the Honduran defense when a Clint Dempsey pass sprang Fabian Johnson down the left flank, where Johnson delivered a hard and low pass to Altidore, who re-directed it past Noel Valladares for the winning goal and his fourth goal in four consecutive matches, making him the sixth U.S. player to accomplish that feat.

The U.S. defense put up another strong performance, delivering their fourth shutout in six CONCACAF Hex qualifiers. Tim Howard made one save in the shutout.

U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann moved Fabian Johnson to left back, bringing back Jermaine Jones and Graham Zusi to the starting lineup after both sat out the win vs. Panama.

Fabian Johnson performed well in the first half, sending in a series of dangerous crosses that tested the Honduran defense.

Honduras defended very well in the first half, putting good pressure in midfield and forcing the U.S. to settle for long balls more often than the American attack usually does. Jermaine Jones and Bradley held down the midfield well, though Espinoza gave the U.S. defense fits early on, drawing a pair of dangerous free kicks that both were wasted.

Honduras came into the match missing several starters, including suspended regulars Victor Bernardez and Luis Garrido, as well as injured regulars Oscar Boniek Garcia and Osman Chavez, but they performed well and frustrated the U.S., particularly in the first half.

The U.S. heads into the summer break in first place in the HEX, with their next qualifier set for Sept. 6th vs. Costa Rica in San Jose, where the Americans have never won a match.

What did you think of the match What U.S. player impressed you the most? See the Americans winning in Costa Rica?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Well done all you Chicago fans. ESPN showed you off a few times. The celebration on the goal was pricess. That fanaticism is known to us who love the game, our local team, and our national team.

  2. I could not be more excited for my beloved USMNT! With top-rate players like Donovan, Cherundolo, and Chandler back in the mix, and hopefully a resurgent Holden, this squad will be a real force in Brazil.

    I just hope this team isn’t peaking exactly one year too early. But, I am confident the US staff will find proper friendly opponents to prepare the team for Brazil.

  3. I’ve been following our national team since the 1986 cycle, though it was admittedly hard to do back then because of poor coverage and even worse play. However, in these past 27 years we have incrementally improved, kind of like the stock market with its temporary booms and busts. The thing I see most different in this cycle is the coach. For the first time ever, we have one who is preaching the Beautiful Game rather than garnering points by being the fittest bunch with the ability to kick the ball long ways in order to keep his job (does anyone remember Bora?) The thing is, while focusing on the way the game should be played may lead to problems in the short term, it is the only way forward to success, as the best footballing nations have shown. And because kicking the ball a long ways still elicits applause from AYSO fans, we have still a long way to go. Meanwhile, enjoy the ride, and celebrate the moments of creativity, which are coming at a faster clip overall..

    • Been coaching in US soccer since before most here were born…

      I don’t know why you rip on Bora, he did very well with what most thought was not much. It almost had a feel of guys like ‘Lexi playing in high school and then playing in italy after being touched by Bora.

      I guess what I am saying is no one was looking for pretty in the late 80s, and that was still true over to the Bora era in the early 90s…

  4. Seems it’s really hard for the US to develop good outside backs. (Obviously Dolo is the exception here, and we have the German developed Chandler and FJ). This is an area the whole USNT system should be looking to improve on. Who are the talented young outside backs in the pipeline? I can think of:

    – Yedlin

    – Maybe Farrell

    • IMO it has to all do with the poor level of coaching and how terrible we are tactically as a country. I really think with our new youth setup we will start to see some more talent in these areas going forward. Whenever coaches see a guy that has some skill in this country we instantly throw them either up top or in the CM. Very rarely do we have them play an outside back position and let them attack, attack, attack from these areas. Watching a lot of high school and club soccer, so many coaches (not saying everyone) want there backs to play conservative and not go forward. Why then would they put skilled players there and let them develop and improve. I really think, starting with our U12’s this will change. Hugo Perez has a good thing going right now and the whole youth system really, with the change to a 4-3-3 formation at all levels to try and start to create a philosophy and culture in our National Teams.

    • Backs period. Gonzo continues to glitch. The whole backline is slapped together, albeit the best of that lot. U23s were awful on defense, U20s had a guy or two who don’t look like they could stop their own mother. You kinda wonder what’s going on because it’s like that Boca/Dolo generation is at its end and this bunch is like whoever we could find in US and Mexico…..I mean, Beasley? Evans? Whodathunkit.

      Thing is we are churning out U23 and U20 attackers of talent who can’t even squeeze into the senior team yet, have to play Gold Cup or bide time. But the defense you can basically endrun the whole pipeline of Gale A./Opara failures if you can look good in your own right.

      • 4 shutouts in 6 qualifiers is miles ahead previous HEX defensive units.

        Gonzalez and Besler are prone to make mistakes because they each have under 10 caps. They are still in their USMNT rookie stage. Let’s give them some time to blossom. Come Brazil they will be ready.

    • Who are the talented young outside backs in the pipeline? There are a couple at the U-20 level with Yedlin possibly Farrell on the Right, Ocegueda on the Left. Pelosi is another on the Left. At the the U-23’s Sarkodie is starting to round into an option. Then you have Chandler & Moralas who weren’t available for the Olympic Qualifications. At the Sr. Level there is still Chandler, F. Johnson, and Possibly Lichaj & Castillo as options for the next 4-6 years.

      The depth may not be as deep as we’d like but there are options. Best of all these are the ones we know of….there are sure to be others who are late arrivals.

  5. LW – F Johnson…his to lose for the moment…This position should belong to F Johnson, Beasley, and Shea. He gets assists in that position. I would really like to see F Johnson get to a higher level Bundesliga team and please stay away from teams in the bottom third of the English Premier League.

  6. EJ was terrible tonight. Really would like to see either Juan or Joe C given some opportunities. So much more creative attacking players and playmakers that can make things happen. Would also like to see MB given more leverage to get forward and JJ be more of the holder out of the 2.

    • EJ was basic issue in midfield..he’s a utility class of player at the moment..he backs up the forwards and midfielders…like Beasley is a utility player backing up the midfield and back’s.

    • agree with everything you said except EJ playing bad..maybe bad as a midfielder, but then again he played a very simple basic keep it simple game plan. I’m really really sure he was instructed to keep it simple.

      • I guess saying “terrible” was a pretty harsh word to describe his performance. He did some good things. And as much I was would like to see Joe or Juan I get why Jurgen went with EJ. He’s the safe pick in a game where a win was crucial. What I am really hoping is for a win in the next match day so that Brazil is all but clinched up and then Jurgen can get some of these younger guys some more experience. JC has played in some very high caliber matches with his club team in the last couple years and I would absolutely love to see him get a start against Mexico, which I’m sure he would be pumped up for. Woudl love to see a lineup of


        JC —- Clint ——- JA

        JJ/GC — MB

        Fab—Bes —- OG — Stevie/Chandler


        Obviously given current form. This would give us some playmakers as well as pace. I haven’t been a big fan of Zusi but I must say he continues to be very solid. With Fabian starting at LB (although he did impress at LAM) and Joe at the LAM it would allow a lot of room for Fab to overlap Joe as he would be more than comfortable coming inside from the left and help create through the middle more with clint and jozy. I know people will think I’m crazy, but would love to see Feilhaber get another go with the NT as well.

        I’m still not sold on Omar. His distribution from the back is more than awful at times. Besler has been a pleasant surprise. Can’t argue with Jurgen sticking with the pairing though, and hopefully he continues to keep them together to gain more experience working with each other. I

    • I think that naturally works itself out when Beasley returns from card accumulation, Fj moves up, EJ gets sunflower seeds and a spot on the pine.

      • But why is that? Shouldn’t we care about how they perform as a whole and not just if they scored or not. I can’t stand watching EJ slow down the speed of play. We all know he can do a step over 50-60 yards away from goal. I’ve seen him do it a number of times. It’s not helping us unlock a defense or helping others get goals. He scored a great goal against Panama. But EJ is not cut out for international level for a team unless he’s either considered a late sub up top or playing for a straight up counter attacking team.

  7. -Gonzalez and sometimes besler are shaky in possession at moments but all in all pretty good showing.

    -Fabian Johnson was an animal, period.

    -Bradley fantastic as normal

    -Zusi and dempsey came alive in the second half, mostly cuz zusi moved more on the left

    -The left side of our attack looked great but the right side not so great, what about a donovan, dolo/chandler combo on that wing? I love that, and it would open up tons of space in the middle. Also i think i like EJ a little more off the bench with his speed and skill.

  8. Tangent:

    1) How great are these centennial kits?

    2) Can we please see the centennial kit with whites shorts? I am certain the all whites will make our eyes bleed!!!

  9. Some of the comments on here are either trolling to the max, or from people with less than zero footy IQ. Break up the USMNT? Zuzi isn’t providing options?

    Zuzi played one of the best games of his USMNT career, IMO. He was dangerous almost every time he got the ball, and provided some great play/service from the wing. Definitely proved his worth/locked down his spot.

    This game was so much more difficult for them than Panama. First off, Honduras are much, much better. Also, Honduras really came out to kill the game off, conning the referee at every chance and looking to hit the USA on the counter. The clean sheet and determination to get the win were quite impressive from the USA.

    Finally, whats the deal with the crowd in SLC? Maybe I’m spoiled from having been at the USA-PAN game in Seattle, but it seemed like the atmosphere was pretty poor. Anyone there have any insight on this one? Was the heat that overwhelming? I know a lot of us Seattle fans can come across as total pricks on this issue, and I’m not trying to say every match should be played in the PNW, but surely there are a lot of cities around the country watching this thinking they could do better… and it seems they are justified in feeling that way.

    • After attending the match I thought the crowd was not as good as I thought it would be. However, when watching on the DVR after it seemed far worse on TV I thought. The heat in the areas with the sun pounding down was pretty bad. The AO section (south end) never seemed to be in full voice from where I stood in the northwest part of stadium at top of the 18. The other two pockets of the stadium that typically get the entire crowd going during RSL matches seemed to be more disjointed as well. Was definitely an off night and was not as good as the WCQ in 2009 in Rio Tinto.

  10. Hard game to watch. Low energy. Heat. Docile crowd. Disciplined defensive, agonizingly slowed down, stop and go match played by Honduras. They clawed and scrapped and did everything they needed to put themselves in position to walk away w/ a point or worse yet, a flukey win. The US stayed patient. Played solid D. Continued to execute. On a night when things weren’t going great and they weren’t at their best against a frustrating side, they did what they needed and came out with 3 points. This is the mark of a maturing, consistent team and in some ways, gives me more reason for optimism than the Panama game. Been a good month!

  11. Our glaring needs: LB and RB If you think Beasley and Evans are the solutions you’re dreaming. the rest of the team is ok, I prefer the Bradley-Cameon mid for now- we also need some forwards who can dribble and draw some fouls.

    • I totally agree with the weakness of both outside backs. Also as you mentioned, there is insufficient speed upfront with Jozy, Dempsey and EJ who totally make up for, at the most, a 1.5 forward threat. For WC qualifying we are wining close and very exciting games but for the WC we need to strengthen these areas.

  12. Wish the World Cup was starting tomorrow. The last four games have been impressive. It seems like Klinnsmann has really found the right balance of players.

      • You have to be kidding me. We were scraping to avoid the playoff spot in 2010 qualifying down to the last game of the hex. Yet that team made it out of the group stage. With four games left this time around and qualification all but assured already, any WC team worth their salt would tear us apart?

        This team is the deepest it has ever been. With another year under their belts Besler and Gonzo will be in the primes of their careers. Cherundolo and Chandler will be back, hopefully along with Donovan and Stu. Unless there is a serious drop off in form to Jozy, Clint or MB or major injuries, I don’t see how anyone can say this won’t be our best team ever. Barring those two things, I predict another quarterfinal run or better.

    • Who would have thought the same core players that helped the US finish 1st in the WC group would be same players we rely on now?

  13. I think it’s more important to judge this last 5 game stretch… not just tonight

    3 Great Takeaways:

    1. The “spine” was driven by the production and confidence of MB & Jozy…well done

    2. Cameron gives you a very promising option to consider, but more importantly it gives you 3 quality CM’s

    3. Fabian Johnson belongs on the left wing, even if he’s our best LB, the speed, touch, and service he brings to the table from the wing is bringing us service from both sides.. which we’ve never had

    3 Opportunities

    1. The CB pairing is still suspect

    2. At least one of the CB pairing is still suspect……

    3. Parts of the back line are still suspect….

    This Gold Cup will be very important to see some of these guys get some quality PT

    • On the last point, our defense, we all take for granted Tim Howard. Plug in Guzman, though he’s good, and our small problems on defense would be big problems. But you can only work with who you’ve got. Don’t know who else JK can get back there to do better and not be “suspect.”

    • Omar did make at least two potentially fatal errors tonight. That said, I think he’s improving. Whether or not he’ll improve before next summer will be interesting to watch.

  14. “Honduras defended very well in the first half, putting good pressure in midfield and forcing the U.S. to settle for long balls more often than the American attack usually does. ”

    Crazy to see this description of the Nats. Progress indeed.

    • It’s still the immature impatience that JK is trying to eliminate from the American game. Slowly but surely he is succeeding. Yes, we’ve been federated for 100 years, but we didn’t start getting serious until after 1994 when we stopped playing home qualifiers in LA and other venues that relegated us to ‘visitor’ status.

  15. I hope that no one is wearing number 10 because it is being held for LD. I criticized LD for lack of desire in the MLS Cup they lost to SLC, and he ticked me off with the weanie break earlier this year.

    Iam no huge biased LD fan, but that game needed someone that is a legend, some who can take over. LD would and hopefully will be that guy. 1-0 to a dimished Honduras team ? Yikes.

    • But what if Donovan can’t take over a game anymore? Consider his contribution as an American legend could be to have that one shining moment that wins a game as a substitute.

      I would love it if he were ageless like Pirlo but it may not happen so we just have to prepare for a future that doesn’t rely on Landon Donovan.

      • Donovan has one more World Cup in him, and he’s the only American outfield player that can take a World Cup match into his own hands. Perhaps Bradley or Dempsey will do it in 2014, but Donovan’s proven himself on the world stage consistently.

      • “Donovan has one more World Cup in him, and he’s the only American outfield player that can take a World Cup match into his own hands.”

        This is far from definite. Players lose form, they age, sometimes they’re never again what they once were. We’ll see at the Gold Cup if he’s still got it.

      • Agreed that nothing is certain. However, the Gold Cup and World Cup are two different animals, as the last two showed. It will be interesting to see if he recaptures the quality that allowed him to control international matches.

    • Heat, altitude, no Beasley. But they did look like the US when it got overtrained last summer. Sluggish, getting beat to 50/50s in the first half. Lucky they didn’t pile up cards.

      But what separates the teams that qualify from those that don’t is churning out results and minimizing losses. This was the low hanging fruit part of the schedule and they got max points. Bravo.

      Now, the next two will be more interesting. CR away and Mexico home perhaps after regime change. And Klinsi will also be sorting out how to blend some people like Cameron who are playing well but not starting; some people who are in Gold Cup but on paper should maybe be in the 18; and some people like Chandler who took the summer off. We did pretty well for makeshift so it’ll be interesting who’s called/starts in September.

    • If anyone is going to replace JJ I for one hope it will be Stu Holden. Don’t get me wrong, I like what Cameron has showed, but Stu is a much more complete midfielder if he gets back to form.

      • I am a huge Stu fan, but let’s realize he’s not back yet to the form he used to have. Let’s hope he gets there. But until then pairing Cameron with Bradley let’s Bradley do his thing up front, and Cameron is a far better defender and long passer than the more athletic JJ. Saying Cameron looked good two games only overlooks that he has done well at Stoke in a top league.

      • But is Jones really more athletic than Cameron? Cameron is able to win balls in the air and covers more ground than JJ. Cameron is pretty agile too. Hes able to recover defensively better than JJ does. Just because JJ is half-black doesnt mean he’s more athletic than Cameron. More skilled yes but i bet if you if they both ran 40’s Cameron would beat him

      • That’s why I said I hope Stu is the one to replace JJ if anyone does. That hope is contigent on him returning to form. The point is that if Stu isn’t starting for the September qualifiers he most likely won’t be starting in Brazil.

    • I think its an overreaction. I understand Cam has looked good these two games but don’t fall into the typical USMNT fan trap by overreacting…

      • exactly. JJ plays that position for a Champions League team, while Cameron plays sporadically for a bottom third premier league team. One game against Panama is nothing like playing against the skillful and pacey midfielders we will see in the world cup.

      • Also, another thin I think people forget is that Cameron gives you cover as three different positions off the bench, which is valuable.

      • It has little to do with Cameron vs. Jones and everything to do what Cam playing allows Bradley to do. Not saying Cameron is the answer, but the reason he might be is because of what it allows Bradley to do. Read Grant Wahl’s three thoughts about tonight’s game to read the reasoning which I agree with 100%.

      • I read it and I don’t agree. I love Wahl, but Jones is a starter on a Champs League team and Cameron plays rightback for Stoke. These were two entirely different games against teams with much different levels of talent, Honduras obviously being higher. Jones’ yellow was a result of him covering for a Gonzo mistake.

      • Cameron has played CM for Stoke a couple of times and looked good. He had a MOTM worthy game against Arsenal, who i would take over Schalke any given day. At least Cameron doesnt act hurt after he gives the ball away and hustles to win it back. Cant say the same for Jones

      • That was definitely a foul. Jones got clipped on that, but you don’t seem interested in any other narrative other than : Cameron, good; Jones, bad; Hulk, smash.

      • Sorry but, Jones his much better than Cameron against the real competition we will see in the world cup. I understand that Cameron allows Bradley to get forward more, but i dont think it holds enough water… Good option though.

      • Jones plays on a better team than Cameron, but both are in top leagues. The question is who makes the whole team better, especially if Cameron is playing mid and not left back where Stoke has him. I think it all comes down to Bradley’s ability to work with each, and JK would be smart to compare that more in depth.

      • Jones is a seasoned veteran. Cameron’s still a kid…at least he plays like one. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. We’ll need both in Brazil.

      • By no means a JJ hater, think he has his place. Do like cameron first off the bench though, really can lock a game down, just feel cameron would hit better from the start with JJ coming on

      • EXACTLY. Plus the game was much more open when Cameron came on since Honduras was behind and were chasing the game. Very different than starting the actual game….with that said he did looked real good.

  16. We need 2 changes. First is right back. Evans is solid but simply offers nothing going forward. Opponents know this. Chandler/Cherundolo would be massive upgrades.

    Second is Twellman in the box. Hey Taylor? Fabian isn’t naturally left footed mmmkay?

  17. What “we” learned in 10 days

    1. jones is a good, professional player but it would seem Bradley Cameron is currently the more dangerous combo on off based an unfortunately small sample.

    2. The front line is better when FJ is playing LM. Not that he eventually shouldn’t be at LB if we can find a similarly skillful wing to play in front of him.

    3. Brad Evans did a really admirable job these last 4 games, but he doesn’t look like the long term solution. Not quite quick enough and not effective enough on O. His heroic goal not withstanding.

    4. Josey has looked awesome these last 4 games.

    • I think Cameron had it a bit easier when he came on, since we had already scored the goal. Also, from a coaching perspective, Cameron on the bench gives you a ton of different options in case of injury or cards or something along those lines, not something you can easily discount. As, for the rest, I agree with you.

      • Cameron has shown to be a fairly lethal passer , but is still rough around the edges. He seems like a player that given minutes playing a single focused position, has the potential to really make it his own – be it center mid or center back. he’s a reasonable fill it at RB if desperate, but I certainly didn’t realize he had that long pass touch.

        Here’s hoping for Cameron to get substantial minutes at CB or CM or both next season. If that happens he could possibly supplant Gonzo, who I think absolutely needs to transfer to a top line European league in order to take the necessary jump. Right now, he’s raw and prone to mental and technical mistakes (reminds me of Oneywu along those lines). CONCACAF team don’t punish mistakes the way UEFA and CONMEBOL.

    • 1. Too small a sample. But both are Europe-based, so you can compare the pairings again in the August friendly.

      2. He does spin a nice ball. Might depend on whether you want more offense or more defense.

      3. Definitely not the long term solution, but to his credit, he was reasonably solid in this game after a horrific game vs. Panama.

      4. I remember when people were calling for Altidore to be dropped from the team and thinking that they were absolutely up-a-tree nuts. No player in our pool, and not many in the world, have his combination of athleticism and power. He’s always had the highest upside of our true forwards, and it’s starting to pay dividends.

    • 2) Donovan or possibly Bedoya could be slotted in front of FJ as LM options. There are other LM’s waiting in the wings as well….Shea, Mixx, and possibly Gayu but these are more likely further down the line.

      2b) Chandler or Lichaj could be slotted into the LB option allowing for FJ to move to LM on a long term basis.

      3) Brad Evans will be replaced in Aug. with either Cherundolo or Chandler. Evans currently sits in 3rd….and could possibly drop to 4th if Lichaj or some other option steps up their game. He just doesn’t have the speed to play an overlapping wing back at the international level.

  18. Did Zusi touch the ball on that goal? It looked from the replays like he just froze his defender to let Dempsey’s ball pass through to FJ.

      • i hope he stays at az. stability and confidence going into Brazil will go a long way. he stands to gain an even bigger transfer if he is fortunate enough to show well in the World Cup.

      • I’d like him to stay at least till the winter transfer window so he can play some europa league games…

      • I want him to move now, but I think he’ll benefit from staying at AZ more. Not having to fight for a place on a new time, acclimate to a new environment, develop chemistry with new teammates.

      • Would rather see him at a mid table club like Newcastle pairing with Cisse. He’d be more assured of playing time. I’d hate to see him get buried on the fringe of a world cup.

      • Would rather see him at a mid table club like Newcastle pairing with Cisse. He’d be more a$$ured of playing time. I’d hate to see him get buried on the fringe of a world cup.

      • Would never happen. As a Spurs fan, they are looking for a forward who can create on their own. Defoe does well at that, much better than Jozy, but they want to buy someone better than Defoe. They’ve been burned by forwards who hold up so-so and wait for service.

      • This is wrong. I’m not saying Jozy would be a good fit at Tottenham, but he’s more than capable of creating for himself. He doesn’t do that for the USMNT, but that’s because he’s not asked to in JK’s system, not because he can’t. Look at his goals for AZ and a sizable portion of them are him creating on his own.

    • Dortmund Baby! They’re gonna be splashing the Lewandoski cash when they finally break down and sell hime to Bayern and they’ll pick up two or three potential replacements. I just hope Jozy can break into the team. It would SUCK for him to go somewhere bigger and not play…

      • exactly my fear. look at what has happened to MB. At Villa, he barely dressed. At Roma, he seems to have to continually prove himself.

      • While the AV deal didn’t work out, I don’t think that something comparable to Bradley’s experience at Roma is anything to fear. He’s played in 30 games for a team that was in contention for Europa League. That’s not a bad place to be.

      • What are you talking about man, at Roma he had a great first season. There is no better situation than when you have to prove yourself and succeed. Plus you can tell how much more composed Bradley is after his time in Italy. Much more cultured than he used to be.

      • Not good enough for Dortmund dude, come on now. Not knocking Jozy, but that is a top 8 team in the world. Jozy should be going to a mid table top 4 league team… If he does well there, then maybe we will see him make the step up to top 6 and possibly top four.

      • Agreed. As far as the beautiful game is concerned, Dortmund was my favorite team this season. Jozy would just slow them down. On the other hand, a month ago, I said that Jozy would not succeed internationally. I am still not convinced, but I am hopeful.

      • Agreed. I love the guy but highly doubt he’s going to a team like Dortmund or Tottenham. I wouldn’t want that. It’ll be a brutal dogfight for PT at teams like that.

  19. 1. Fabian Johnson is better at LM than LB. We need his creativity up front in the attack with each play.

    2. We need Beasley at LB and desperately need a good backup…..Castillo is not the answer.

    3. Altidore has proved he is the striker the US knew he was, with the right service he can produce

    4. Our midfield is solid with Michael Bradley, the core of our team

    5. If we had someone with dribbling skills in our line up to harass defenses, draw in defenders and draw fouls for set pieces close to goal the US will shock a lot of big name teams

    6. Zusi’s game is on another level and is greatly needed on the team

    • Beg to differ re: Castillo. He is good, no, great LB, and will continue to improve.

      He actually developed as an attacking midfielder growing up. He will improve, and assert himself.

      JJ was off tonight, and he doesn’t play ideally well in combination with Bradley. The US played better out of the back, played more solid defense, and attacked with more creativity with Cameron playing the deep lying destroyer defensive midfield spot, allowing Bradley to go forward and build the attack, or orchestrate fast breaks – Jones is too wild and erratic.

      Fabian Johnson at mid-field or at LB is a good thing – I would have liked to see Castillo at LB< and FJ at LM from the start – with Cameron playing like he did v. Panama. The team, in my opinion would have been more settled, and attacked with more consistency, as well as held possession better.

      I think also the altitude, the thin air and the short grass, and the fact the grass was wetted down right before the match made the pitch slick and fast, the balls were skipping very quickly and thus our first touch was sloppy tonight.

      Not the silky pretty soccer we were all hoping for – but we got what we were after.

      We are looking good as far as getting to Brazil , pretty much only needing 4-5 points out of the next 12 (would be nice to get them all!) in order to assure ourselves of a spot in the big dance.

    • Why do you say that? He got the assist today from LB, almost assisted Eddie Johnson, put in a number of solid balls throughout after overlapping runs, and is a better defender than beasely (who makes me feel absurdly nervous whenever he is about to be taken on). I am not saying that Johnson is a bad LM, but going forward Johnson needs to be or LB and or LM needs to be one of either Donovan, Zusi, Dempsey, or Shea if the United States is going to be at our best.

      • Things happen when Fabian Johnson is part of the attack at LM. He got an assist today, he got an assist against Panama looking dangerous down the left side……which means the US needs him in the midfield, moving forward, involved with the offense, spreading the attack and not having to cover so much real estate back and forth on the left wing while doing it. Against a top 10 team in the world cup he will be burnt out by the start of the second half, leaving the LB position temporary wide open for counters.

        Zusi has his position, Donovan has to find his form first then gel with the team……Shea, well maybe because of his height and physique he can be another Evans

    • Also, though I like Zusi, to suggest his game is on another level is absurd. He had one great run and ball that hit the post, a nice touch for the goal, plays solid defense, and put a number of solid balls throughout, but overall I would rate him at a 7 or 8 at best. He is doing better than I thought he would and is looking to be a solid and consistent starting option, but players like Dempsey, Altidore, Bradley, Howard, Johnson, and Donovan are still more capable of playing at a higher level and are arguably more integral to the team. Not trying to knock him, but lets not overhype him.

    • Many good points, I think determining a clear #1 LB will be key before heading to Brazil. Beasley has performed above and beyond expectations at LB and should be commended for his performances, but surely we can’t have him starting in the group stage at Brazil IMO. Fabian J at LM has been crucial to these 3 results and IMO he must stay at there unless an in form Donovan is in the picture. It will be interesting to see how Klinsman handles this situation.

    • ‘Fabian Johnson is better at LM than LB. We need his creativity up front in the attack with each play.’

      he provided just as much creativity from the LB last night as he has in the past at LM. he’s better at defending than beasley. what do we actually gain from him playing LM as opposed to LB?

      • Better attacking option up front, a fresher more dangerous player all game long because of less ground covered up and down the left side, more quality supply for Altidore all game long…….the US looked like a different team against Germany and Panama…..having opportunities, attacking relentlessly and creating chances…….and thats with almost the same line up and Fabian at LM. You drop him back to LB, then put Johnson or Zusi on the left and you just pulled the plug on our spark, and we turn into the same flat US team we’ve always been, grinding out wins. He can’t be focused and really involed on offense when he has defensive duties (primarily). We have been looking for the right partnership in midfield and thats F. Johnson, Bradley, Cameron and Zusi……..

      • yeah, i’m not saying play eddie or zusi on the left–they’re not very good there.

        have we even tried beasley in front of fabian on the left? you know, both playing in their club positions? with all the moving players around that klinsmann’s done, it’s weird that we haven’t seen that yet.

        and i disagree that fabian can’t be ‘really involved on offense’ when he plays LB. he seems to be better, or at least, just as good (as he was last night), when overlapping with space to run, and beasley is certainly better at LM than he is at LB.

  20. Very quiet crowd: grade = F

    …except for the insipid “you s**k a$$hole” chant every time an opponent takes a goal kick. Come on, people, we’re better than that.

    • Damn. I moved to Europe for work just when my home town Earthquakes (who I saw almost every week) left for Houston. If that’s a shitty MLS crowd, then, I’ve missed a lot!!!

    • RSL fans are usually very quiet during their games. Dunno how many non-RSL fans there were last night, but doesn’t surprise me.

      • Could be that Mormons can’t be loud and obnoxious. They’re too polite. I just had a thought–a crowd of Canadian Mormons, you’d get nothing but polite applause.

    • +1 It’s a shame our best stadiums are either covered with artificial turf or crappy fan bases. I thought Salt Lake had it in them.

      • The crowd was fine. If this game hadn’t followed the game in Seattle no one would be mentioning anything about the crowd. Seattle had a great crowd of over 35,000. A game at any venue following Seattle would seem comparitively quiter.

    • I was at the Costa Rica game in 2005 in SLC and the atmosphere was incredible. Not sure what the difference has been with the two matches in Rio Tinto, but it may just be a function of crowd size. I’ll admit it hasn’t seemed like a great home-field advantage.

    • it had the atmosphere of a funeral that took a turn for the worse… If they were engaged it seems like the sound seeps out the gap where the stadium would normally be. kind of a away-teams dream venue. i kid ( a bit…) but also please play every match at Seattle on the imported frankenstein dirt. forever.

      • The crowd was fine. We won the game. Part of the home field advantage is the altitude, and making the opponent travel to a hard to get to and strange place.

        You can’t have more than one qualifier at a location. Tickets are too expensive to expect fans to shell out for more than one match. SLC deserves to stay in the mix. But healthy competition for these games in future rounds is positive.

    • Part, if not most, of the problem tonight lied in the fact that it was 100 degrees and a majority of the seats are in the sun. Add that to the fact that (let’s be honest) for about 80 minutes of that game it was a snoozefest and I’m not surprised. I tried to rally the troops as it were a few times but no one seemed to have the energy for it. That being said, maybe it didn’t translate to TV, but after the offside call brought back the goal, it livened up immensely.

      • good insight. having been an RSL fan since the Rice Eccles days and been to quite a few RioT games (even though I don’t live there anymore) I can tell you that the fan support at most RSL games seemed better than this (from the viewpoint of TV). I’ve also been on the brutally hot east side of the stands for an evening match. Yea it is tough to stay focused.

        I think Seattle is going to feature a lot more from now on and rightfully so.

      • It had been a few years since I was last able to attend a match at the RioT before tonight and I was a bit disappointed in my fellow fans. My row was trying like hell to get chants started and kept it up all night but couldn’t get our group on the North end to really start chanting or singing much until the “We are going to Brazil” singing at the end. We did have the largest group of Honuduran fans with their big drums behind us and had a good time bantering back and forth all game though. All in all, pretty disappointing that my fellow USA fans (and maybe the problem is that there were more RSL fans than true US fans) would not raise their voices with me!

      • The weather was pleasant tonight. The majority of the crowd just didn’t bring it, unfortunately. That said, I believe in SLC and the RioT as a venue, they just need to step it up next time the Nats come around.

      • I was there as well and I agree with all your points. I was also surprised at the lack of energy from the fans. But, it didn’t seem like the American Outlaws were a united force, sitting together. Was that a mess up on the part of the stadium? In the section I was sitting in, it seemed like people wanted to cheer, but had no idea what to do. A little leadership would have gone a long way. And some more exciting play from the team wouldn’t have hurt, either. Also, I feel like it’s a little unfair to compare Seattle and Rio Tinto. Whatever stadium got the game after Seattle was going to be a letdown, because Seattle owned it. That atmosphere was going to be impossible to beat, no matter where you were.

    • I was at the game and it was sold out with the highest attendance ever at Rio Tinto for a USMNT game. Part of the problem was the stadium is not built to hold in noise (DSG in Colorado has that same problem). Also they had a screw up with the tickets for the AO section, so everyone who bought supporters tickets was not in one section. The crowd got plenty loud when needed but you really need a better system than what they had to get the cheering going throughout the whole game.

    • I was at the game. The crowd was good. Everyone was standing the whole time. The problem in the American Outlaw section was that it was disorganized. We could never seem to get everyone doing the same thing. So more a matter of organization than the fans per se.

  21. where is “The Imperative Voice”??????? i want him to explain to us how little skill Jozy has, and how easy it is to score 30 goals in the Eredivisie…

    • What do you expect? Its the same people who thought Bradley and Dempsey werent good and probably the same people who still discredit Donovan. You just gotta ignore them

      • Listen I don’t always agree with I.V. But he’s not a total troll and often has some great insights. Go easy.

      • Not saying he’s a troll, but he’s taken some needlessly strong anti jozy positions that were simply based out of hate for the person. Trying to argue that a 23 year old who was talented enough to be signed by Villareal should not even have a place in the squad is patently absurd.

        That being said, PD, as usual, makes a good point.

      • What “hate?” It’s a production position and until recent weeks he was averaging a goal every 4 caps, no goals in years from the run of play,

        And anyone who watched the giveaways today saw where he can often be where possessions end. And this trend tends to pick up against better teams.


        If he does score here like in Holland, that will get him cut a lot of slack.

        However, if you look sloppy and disinterested and are not scoring……and other people are….all due respect but it required high levels of faith to preordain this…..and I doubt even his supporters would have expected 4 in 4 games.


        Like I said, it’s a production position and he’s the hot hand. Roll with it.

      • To be fair both Dempsey and Bradley used to be maddeningly inconsistent. Dempsey would dance around and disappear, Bradley would have bad days. Landon before them used to be a polarizing figure because he’d hit shots with his purse or go in soft defensively.

        You earn your way out of that by playing so well every game that people forget you were the inconsistent guy, and pencil you in the XI before the roster even comes out.

        FJ, for example, is seizing that left sided spot despite previously being a little controversial.

        But to pretend like people who did criticize them for previous poor play were off their rocker haters is facile. If you’re playing that well there usually ain’t much to talk about. It’s only that you’re hit and miss and don’t separate from the pack that gets the talk going in the first place.

        For example, Jermaine Jones should on paper own DM and did have the concussion, but ain’t grabbing the position permanently yet.

        Which, to bring it full circle, is where Bradley and Dempsey once were.

    • Jozy earned quite a bit of respect the past few games.

      But entering those games he was on a long cold streak of two years and had a lower strike rate than EJ, not to mention some of the more prominent forwards, eg, Dempsey, Donovan.

      He was actually pretty sloppy today. But you get away with sloppy if you score every week. It’s a results business. Just like we looked slow today but got 3 points.

      He was playing like a backup before. But these are obviously starter numbers now.

    • IV’s a great poster. He happens to be wrong about Jozy, but he’s a smart, respectful poster. It’s good to have a wide range of opinions in a community.

      • And never got the sense that his comments about Altidore were at all personal. There are some posters where it seems they want to see Nats players fail just so they can be proven right, can’t give guys any credit, are always downplaying their achievements. IV isn’t like that.

  22. Zusi looked great, just like he has the past 4-5 appearances for the usmnt, but I will still hear about how he is a mediocre wing option…

    • Zusi has looked good, but I’d rather have Donovan attacking from the right wing. Maybe switch Zusi to the left when Donovan returns? move FJ back to LB and keep Beasley as a super sub at wing?

      • Zusi spent a bunch of time on the left tonight — looked like he and EJ were swapping places throughout.

      • I think that is a great option. I think once Landon Donovan gets back into the usmnt there has to be a way that he and Zusi can both see the field. I just tire of seeing so many people discredit Zusi in this board just because they like Landon Donovan more.

      • I agree, right now the best option would be to have them both on the field going forward. They would be able to interchange at will, which would be an added bonus.

      • I like what I saw in the past two games with Fabian Johnson and DaMarcus Beasley on the left side. I’d like to see the same on the right…with Zusi and Donovan.

        One of them needs to move to right back for the USMNT. I’d almost stare hard in Donovan’s direction for that. Donovan has blazing catch-up speed and would overlap up all day long and add another number to the attack…which is exactly what we were getting with DMB at left back.

        IMHO, it’s all about finding a way to get your best 11 on the field. And Donovan is definitely what Klinsmann is looking for with his outside backs.

        You could probably flip them, and play Zusi at RB as well with Donovan at RW. But I definitely do think Donovan and Zusi are our best right-sided players. Be willing to bet you Klinsmann is thinking along the same lines, too.

      • Neither Donvan or Zusi will play RB. The RB will be either Dolo or Chandler. Both are good going forward and better defensively. What we could end up seeing is a F. Johnson @ LB, Donovan @ LM…..than Dolo/Chandler @ RB and Zusi at RM.

        Beasley & Shea possible options off the bench on the Left.

        Bedoya/Gatt & Dolo/Chandler options off the bench on the Right.

        The upcoming Gold Cup will help decide who will be the backups going down the stretch run of Qualifying.

    • Landon Donovans’ experience and skill will improve the team but let’s not assume JK will think it’s as a starter. JK may think he’s great in the super sub role.

      Of course LD will be a starter in the Gold Cup at least I hope so if the US really wants to win it.

    • Their keeper had a good night too, except when he was apparently intentionally pushed during that second-half scrum. He was pushed so hard that I expected a whistle because an US player did it. Did anyone else notice that?

      • I saw that – wasn’t it right before the hand ball on Dempsey’s rebound shot? Not sure if the team mate who bumped him wasn’t pushed by one of ours. Needed another replay to see what led to it.

  23. A win is a win! I’d like to see more Bradley and Cameron moving forward, Jones is a beast but Bradley and Cam seem to work better together…albeit in a tiny sample size. Crowd was very meh, it looked great with everyone decked out in red, but the chanting and singing barely translated to the tube. All these SSS’s should’ve built terraces on the ends by supporters sections to help the sound echo a bit

    • Jones plays the high risk/high reward game way too often both with his tackles and with his passing and runs. Too many bad passes in the first half for most of the US but Jones had some doozies. He overcomplicates things at times.

      Cameron gets the ball and plays it simple for five passes and then the sixth pass he’ll try something risky like his killer balls over the top – tonight he had a great pass over the top to Jozy when he got his blast away resulting in a US corner and his fantastic assist on EJ’s goal against Panama. I would like to see Cameron more with MB too.

      • Aggreance with you and Estraub. Again, small sample, but the GCam/MB partnership is a no-brainer.

    • Couldn’t agree more that Cameron deserves the nod over Jones. Cameron frees up Bradley to push forward and be creative. When Jones is on the field, Bradle feels obligated to stay back and babysit. To me it’s a no brainer- Cameron over Jones.

      • Cameron…for now. It will be interesting to see how Klinsi might use Holden if and when Stu gets back up to speed and sharpness. On the wing, or partnering with Bradley…or as a super-sub?

  24. EJ had a weak game. I think we really miss FabJo’s presence in midfield when he is forced to play LB out of need.

    Jozy is a force!

    • Absolutely, agree. I believe many people have under estimates the influence FJ has on the opposing defense. Composure , speed. Skill. The def adjusts to Jim and opens space for the right side and the right side has been rising to the occasion. Good result boys.

      • besides the shot that fell to ej what did ej do that would make him a better winger than others in our lw pool?

      • The point being the US is better with FJ on the back line than Beasley. Not saying that EJ is our best LW, but teams do have to respect his speed, size and skill. However, it would be interesting to see how Beas might do there, or to see how the team would do with Holden or Donovan on the right wing and Zusi out left.

      • I’m uncomfortable with Beasley at LB as well but I don’t think the results of the last 3 games can be argued with. When Johnson has been at LM our offense has looked more threatening. Last night he wasn’t and we took a bit of a step back. Some of our best sequences where when he made the run forward from the back. Perhaps if another LM develops then we could move him back but until then I wouldn’t.

    • EJ really just doesn’t have the skill set for wing. He doesn’t cross the ball well and doesn’t combine well. He’s dangerous in the right spot but out on the wing away from goal, he just sort of gums up the works.

      • He’s a scoring threat, stretches the D, and makes good, smart runs. But I don’t love EJ with the ball at his feet and as you noted he’s not a good crosser of the ball. So it depends on what kind of wing you want. He’s definitely useful. Probably more so coming off the bench against tired Ds.

  25. Wow Zusi amazes more and more every game. Can someone please explain to me why the US werent as good as they were against Panama?

      • Can’t really compare because the game had already open after the lead…honduras starting taking risks

      • I disagree about Cameron. Although he got outta trouble nicely a couple of times, he put himself into trouble by not playing the simple pass to help kill the game. Presumably that’s why he was subbed in, not to re-create his Panamanian assist.

        Wei will take another big step forward when we can manage a 1-0 lead.

      • The reason we have had trouble with 1-0 games in the past is this wrongheaded idea that “killing the game” wins games. This is the prevent defense of soccer. If you are dominating, continuing to dominate is how you win games. Jones was taken out, presumably for injury. He went down in pain and Cameron came on, and did well.

      • Couldn’t agree more with #2. And while he might have had one or two misplaced passes he only had 15 minutes on the field, give him a break. He allowed MB to go forward and do his thing. Every single time the US would get the ball Jones would already be at the Honduras 18. And his solo run? I almost laughed when he tumbled over like the house of cards he is.

      • I’d add that FJ was moved back to LB which meant he wasn’t involved in the offense as much as he could have been. Considering some of our most dangerous plays occurred when he did make runs up the field, including our goal, I’d say that move hurt the offense.

    • They aren’t robots. Even the best players in the world have consistency issues. Our guys aren’t the best players in the world. Bottom line, they stepped up, got the result, and lead the hex.

    • 1) Honduras has much more quality (Espinoza, Palacios, Najar, Martinez) in midfield than Panama and were able to prevent us from owning central midfield like we did in the Panama game.

      2) Panama made the mistake of actually trying to play openly from the start, where Honduras didn’t quite park the bus but they clearly aimed to absorb pressure and hit on the counter. It’s what most away teams do in WCQ. Play first not to lose. Generally makes for a frustrating game.

      Great result and one that may end up enabling some WCQ playing time late in the hex for some potentially important players like Holden, Donovan, Corona…

      • good point. to his credit, JK started that process tonight with Castillo and Cameron. Probably the biggest difference between BB and JK, JK much more willing to explore various player options, much earlier in the qualifying process. While I am not yet convinced that Holden is an answer ( he does not have much of a national team record) I would love to see what he and Corona can do.

      • BB played Castillo and he was, and still is, no good. BB also called in Cameron but he was dealing with a knee injury. Bob tested just as many players as JK has and had to replace more 30+ year old starters from the 2006 WC team than JK. Might want to re-check history

      • The difference to me, although I respect what Bradley did as nt manager, is that klinnsman has always been testing, tinkering, and experimenting while pursuing a better level of play, while Bradley did an adequate job of plugging holes to get necessary results. Neither are bad, but if klinnsman gets it right his philosophy has a higher ceiling.

      • Nate,

        You might want to check your facts first.

        Bob Bradley I believe holds the record for most new caps awarded. Not only that but he built a very good team, the Confederations Cup runners up and then had to renovate it after losing his 2 CB’s and Davies to injury.

        BB was just as willing as JK to explore various player options. It was BB who started the modern era of the dual national thing. Bob was the guy who recruited Jones.

        The difference is Bob’s options were not as good as JK’s and that is neither man’s fault. BB even gave the notorious Freddy Adu an extended run and was rewarded with a half decent performance in the 2011 Gold Cup. He gave Freddy plenty of rope. Unfortunately Adu used it to hang himself.

      • Holden, if he had not gotten injured, would have been one of the best players to ever where the United States shirt in my opinion. In his one season in the prem, he was credited with almost single handily keeping bolton up by acting as the driving force in the midfield. Not sure he will ever get back to that level, but I do believe he can be an integral player for the United States at the next world cup.

      • I never thought I’d say this, but the pitch was a little too good, too fast. It played like short turf. This is why so many balls were weighted too heavily by both teams, resulting in a lot of balls rolling off, bad first touches, and the mustard coming off the hot dog during our creative play.

    • I was thinking the same thing. There were several moments where you saw the US simply take a collective breath and wrestle back control of the game, simple possession, patience, management of the game. Well deserved 3 points for sure.

      • Step it up Salt Lake the next time! Lame support compared to Seattle! Why do you need urging from Dempsey?

      • Not sure it was lame support. It just wasn’t louder than Seattle but it wasn’t ever going to be with 15K + less people in the stands.

        It would be interesting to hear from someone who was there what their impressions are.

      • I was there and loved it. But I wasn’t in Seattle to compare. Every time the hondurans tried to get a chant going we would down them out and the National anthem was great too

      • Nice Spectra!! It just didn’t come off on TV as that good of support, especially since I watched Dempsey having to urge on the fans in the 2nd half. I, obviously could be way wrong though!

    • Disagree on the ugly game part. Actually some really nice buildup and possession.

      Klinsmann was masterful in holding on to his subs and not panicking. Gave the team a chance to calm down and settle enough to make that great combination play to score the goal.

      Give Honduras a lot of credit. Their marking was tough. The US did really well to not force it and try to possess to break them down. Lots of good field switches by Bradley, Cameron to open things up. Zusi had some nice penetrating drives and crosses. FJ had that great one timed cross to an EJ shot that forced a save. Even Brad Davis got into it with a nice move to beat his man and almost draw a PK.

      The possession was patient (although a little inaccurate in the first half– JJ is great but things seemed a bit sharper with Cameron…)

    • Agreed. Get the 3 points and move on. Ugly game, beautiful result. Now let’s wrap up qualification over the next two games (hard to see a win in Costa Rica, as they are a good side and will still be angry after the blizzard match). No need to drag this out too long.

      • This is video game logic. More F doesn’t = more goals. In your lineup Bradley would be spending all his energy defending and getting the ball back for us and dempsey would be in the opposing 18(the only area of the field he is truly special in).

      • When Cameron has played the last couple games, I think we look more like a 4-1-3-2 with Deuce up top and Bradley in the middle.

      • True. I just didn’t like the idea of moving Bradley and Dempsey further back simply to get Gomez or any other non dynamic F simply for the sake of adding a forward to the lineup on paper

      • I see and appreciate your logic, but when you put in Dempsey next to Altidore with Donovan, F Johnson, and Holden behind them you get maximum play from all the forwards and midfielders..I would like to see Bradley play a more forward role with Donovan not in the lineup right now…Jones or Cameron would do a good job as a DMF. Against Mexico or any other top 10 team in FIFA I believe we need a DMF pair of Jones and Bradley.

    • We were instantly better when Jones went off. JK should make not of that, Jones is NOT a play maker and we struggle with him trying to be one

      • Jones doesn’t play playmaker. Neither does Cameron for that matter. His job is to regain possession, clog passing lanes, and maintain possession. As JK screams from sidelines, “PLAY SIMPLE”.

      • Important point. Offensively different and more fluid. Cameron is not a destroyer first and player second like Jones. He tends to play cleaner, which makes the game flow better going forward and initiates transition quicker. He’s a better passer than I remember in MLS…perhaps the Stoke City effect. Would he have been as effective if Jones had not worked with Bradley to “softened up” the Honduran midfield? Espinosa and company are far better players than anything Panama had to offer.

        When Cameron replaces Jones I see a shift from more structured, slower paced possession to a more fluid transition game that emphasizes quick passing after winning the ball. Players like Dempsey and EJ get the ball sooner and the play develops more quickly creating different kinds of opportunities. Fabian Johnson is showing that he knows what to do in quick transition situations. His decision making and passing have been very good in the past couple of games when he gets the ball early in space. Zusi showed me something on the goal that I haven’t seen from him much, a good sense of the spaces in attack when playing in the middle with back to goal.

        If Donovan joins the side I think he will benefit more from the more fluid transition game that seems to be generated by Cameron, than the more static game fostered by the way Jones and Bradley combine. I worry that Cameron will be less effective against top quality central midfield players. Worth a try in a game that the opponent badly needs to win.

  26. Jozy was dominant in the second half after being starved for service in the first. FJ, Zusi, Besler, and MB also had excellent matches. EJ, JJ, and Deuce were off tonight. I don’t like JJ and EJ on the field together because they both tend to hold the ball and not make the quick, simple pa$$.

    • Yeah Dempsey only set the scoring sequence in motion with his well weighted pass to Fabian.

      His several shots and headers were saved so therefore he had a bad match, and all he did otherwise was help keep the ball moving with one touch passing. Oh wait…

      • Dempsey played poorly the first half, but definitely picked up his play in the 2nd. There’s a certain level of quality expected from such a great player as Dempsey and it took awhile before that came out.

        This wasn’t only from Dempsey though, it was the entire US team. Poor touches, slow passes in the middle to players under pressure, poor off-ball movement/ball watching, etc throughout the entire first half and much of the second. They seemed tired and overworked trying to gut it out. Then we started to get some good momentum and finally put more pressure on. That continued pressure produced the goal and should have produced at least one more, but thankfully it was enough.

    • Am I the only one who isn’t impressed with Zusi? How many times a game do his crosses either go too short or way over everyone’s head? He still hasn’t shown any indication he can score at this level. He has his moments but I still think he’s frustrating to watch. Fabian at lb had more service on offense than Zusi for the first 60 mins.

      • i think he’s been great with his set-piece service, but yeah, i also haven’t been all that impressed with him.

        still like him there better than eddie johnson though, who i think just isn’t consistently good enough to be a starter for us.

      • So you think he’s the best player we have available for the position but you’re not impressed w/ his play? Or do you think others would be better?

      • that’s a good question. i guess i’d say that i *hope* someone would be better at that position. or maybe i just think zusi’s getting overrated due to low expectations.

      • Zusi is probably the closest thing to a playmaker we have right now. He has been involved in over half of the last 10 goals or so, including the cross that Jozy scored on to break his drought. Additionally he has been stellar tracking back to defend and help out an inexperienced fullback. Last night wasn’t a great night for Zusi, but if Dempsey is his usual sharp self, Zusi picks up an assist or two.

  27. Jozy was dominant in the second half after being starved for service in the first. FJ, Zusi, Besler, and MB also had excellent matches. EJ, JJ, and Deuce were off tonight. I don’t like JJ and EJ on the field together because they both tend to hold the ball and not make the quick, simple pass.

    • I would not call Jozy “dominant,” because his score was a simple soft strike after a very nice assist and otherwise he did not do anything special. He played fine, but like the other starters, had trouble getting past a good defense. I wish we had more playmakers to get the ball to Jozy and Deuce, as no one up front seems to be able to make things happen on their own, which is okay but then you need playmakers. Zusi did well but still did not unlock the defense. I like Bradley as a playmaker when he’s more free up front, but JJ doesn’t allow this and is not a playmaker. Cameron had another very nice pass to Jozy so I start to wonder if Bradley and Cameron make most sense in the middle. I’d actually like to see Zusi and Davis on the field together as both are playmakers, on opposite flanks, but Jurgen apparently thinks speed is more important.

      • “I would not call Jozy “dominant,” because his score was a simple soft strike after a very nice @ssist and otherwise he did not do anything special.”

        Right after the goal he took down a long p@ss, beat his man, and put a good strike on goal. Also, rewatch the initial finish on the goal. It was very nicely taken and not as easy as it looked. He had a very nice subtle flick on header to Demps.

        He held up play very well. And he hustled back on D much better than he has been too.

        This game wasn’t as overtly flashy as his past three performances, but if you know your soccer, you could catch some nice extra efforts in the little things Jozy’s now doing that he hasn’t been doing before.

        I’ve been critical of the dude in the past and yeah, not sure if he was exactly “dominant”, but he’s definitely playing special right now.

      • Agreed on Jozy. Abysmal game too from the standpoint of the Americans. Absolutely no form from them whatsoever. Almost always playing too fast (which is of course what Klinsmann seems to want), however that kind of speed is always a sympton of low soccer IQ. Jermaine Jones just isn’t worthy of being in the middle. Honduras was actually the better team, meaning they actually played some soccer. This would have been a very different game if Honduras had had a striker.

      • low soccer IQ? So Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund must be pretty dumb in your opinion? Please watch the highlights again — every chance the US had on goal was created by playing quickly in the offensive third.

      • I don’t think you get it: there’s an ocean of difference in the quality of speed teams like Bayern and Dortmund play and the quality of speed the U.S. plays. Night and day. The U.S. is a mess; no style, no form whatsoever. U.S. fandom confuses frenetic high-paced “tempo” with intelligent high-paced futbol. Italy, Spain, the likes, etc., play high-tempo futbol but it’s profoundly imaginative. And part of the reason is that these elite teams have a puppet-master or maestro in the middle, if you will. Andrea Pirlo is a great example of this right now. USA ain’t got nobody remotely in that stratosphere of quality. U.S. fans just can’t come to reality that the national team really, kind of, er, umm, isn’t very good at the beautiful game. And for those of you who will say, as the dumb commentators too-often do (Lalas, Twellman, et al), “well, sometimes, you just got to grind out a win,” you will only continue to see a trophy case with no hardware.

      • You may want to consult those intelligent and profoundly imaginative Italians about the need for grinding out wins.

      • i would rather win dirty than lose pretty.

        winning your regional tournament 3 out of the past 6 times discredits your empty trophy room statement.

      • Oh, you’re a bore. You can have it both ways. You just have to have the courage to see it. The beautiful game is the game with creativity and imagination. This will always defeat sole “grit” and “hard work.” If the USA were as creative as it is gritty, then we’d have a shot at some hardware.

      • You’re absolutely right that the US doesn’t have a Pirlo, so why should they try to emulate that style? I think what JK is trying to do makes perfect sense for the skills of our players: pressure, if you win the ball in the final 3rd, play it forward as quickly as possible to get a shot off. I agree that there is nothing more beautiful in the sport than a through ball from the central midfield that unlocks the defense, but that is a rare thing these days, even with the top teams.

      • Why do so many of you posers insist on calling it “futbol”? The game was invented in England. Last time I looked, they speak English.If you’re not going to call it soccer (and the English DO by the way), call it football.

      • Yo prefiero “futbol” porque ahora los hispanos y los latinos saben como jugar el “futbol” mejor que los gringos. Translation: I prefer futbol because now the hispanics and latinos know how to play futbol better than the gringos.

      • what about places like Spain, Argentina, and Uruguay? it’s all white people. they are hispanic though, but does gringos only apply to white people who don’t speak spanish?

        if so, where does Germany, France, Holland, Italy, England, etc. fit in? or again, is gringos only apply to USA?

        either way, i hate this stupid argument. the game has multiple names. they are all appropriate. move on.

      • Honduras was the better team? How so? Do you mean their awful passing in the final 3rd? Do you mean their inability to finish? Or maybe you mean their dirty defensive tactics, diving, and time wasting? This was the worst I’ve ever seen Honduras play. US should have won 2-0 bc ref missed a penalty as well. US 1st half stunk, but they were clearly the better side by creating more opportunities and playing real soccer. The Honduran’s played like they were El Salvador last night.

      • Espinoza’s futbol was infinitely better than all of the U.S. midfielder’s combined. Honduras’ problem was no strikers. Had they had some, would have been a totally different match.

      • Michael Bradley was the player on the pitch by far! For being such a soccer snob, you are the first person I have seen that categorized Italy’s play as “beautiful”! Once you made the statement, you solidified your own soccer “IQ”.

        The speed of the US play was controlled and it offered many chances in front of the goal.

      • Espinoza played in the EPL, so I don’t think anyone is doubting that he is a good player. We have no Pirlo, only Italy does and they flop and whine and dive like b!tche$ every which way. You can’t be happy with a win but are probably content with a 1-0 game playing “beautiful football” or is it futbol?

        Get off your high horse. People like you are just Euro snobs anyway. Move along, nothing for you to see here.

      • Don’t ruin some fair observations by getting all hyperbolic. “Abysmal” “Absolutely” “whatsoever” … that’s just ignorant and should be consider beneath you, for some one who obviously enjoys analyzing the game.

      • To DCUffda!: I think you may misunderstand me. I’m not being hyperbolic when I use those words. I’m being serious and precise. That is what I see.

      • Regrettably, then, if you are going to stand so far to one side that you can’t tell the difference between subtle progress and abject failure, I rescind my previous leniency and condemn your bias as leading you to incorrect conclusions.

      • I think you’re way too forgiving, which I think is the general mood of the American futboling fandom. USA needs some very tough love if it’s going to win a W.C. in the future, which I’d love to see.

      • Futbolismo, don’t be silly. Honduras had 38 percent possession and forced the US keeper to make 1 save. The US bossed the midfield and created numerous goal scorign chances (13 shots). The goal they scored was a high soccer IQ goal. Did you see how they moved the ball around Honduran players on that play? Honduras did everything it could to make the game ugly and disjointed to get a result, but once the US started to pass the ball faster, Honduras could not keep up with the speed of play and they were very lucky not to concede more.

      • To all the beloved critics of my critical points above: the beautiful game = winning hardware (regional tournaments? please….). It is better for the U.S. to attempt to play the beautiful game, and loose for the time being (for sake of of discussion), than grind out unattractive wins that lead only to them squeaking out of the 1st round of every World Cup to come, ad infinitum (2002 W.C. being the exception to the principle, which was beautiful, and something worth revisiting).

        In terms of American futbol culture, repeatedly focusing on the immediate (hand-to-mouth futbol existence), in such a narrow way, profoundly limits the player pool’s ability to spread its wings and develop its creative capacities. I’ll say this now and again in the future: the U.S. is going to have to crash and burn before it gets any kind of serious hardware.

        And to Joe, who says, “move along, nothing for you to see here” – and to anyone else who is hostile to critical point of views on American futbol culture – I say, sure, enjoy your circle-jerk strand of commentary. I’ll sit and watch knowing that I, like the fans of the great nations, want America not only to win, but to win in style. Now that’s a dream to reach for. Thoughts?

      • There is no question that the US soccer has a long way to go before we are able to seriously contend for the WC. However, you cannot change the culture and style overnight, but this team compares favorably to Bob Bradley’s teams. In the last world cup, Slovenia and Algeria, countries comparable in quality to Honduras, had the majority of possession against the US in our head to head games against them. Last night, the USMNT limited Honduras to 38% possession in 90 degree heat. We have not turned into Spain or Germany, but it is a progress. The biggest problem with the US soccer is not Klinsmann, but the lack of quality coaching at the youth levels all the way through MLS. When it changes, we’ll start to develop world class players and seriously contend for the WC.

      • I don’t agree with you that the biggest problem is coaching. I think that’s superficial and mostly missing the point. Too, I think it’s a very American thing to say. What I mean by this is I think Americans tend to think that if we just get better bosses and managers we will improve. The problem with that is futbol is a player’s game and it’s a game that thrives on imagination and a certain freedom to experiment. This happens on the playground when the adults aren’t around often. There are deep, deep seeded limits to coaching in futbol. But back to the point:

        I think the issue’s twofold and much deeper than just the fix of better coaching. One, I don’t think Americans, for the most, part really “get” this game, like the way, say, Yugoslavians and Russians started “getting” basketball in the 80’s and 90’s. That’s a bit of an esoteric point that needs to be unpacked which these comments won’t allow room for, for now.

        That said, two, more tangibly speaking, the U.S. has a terribly weak professional league in terms of its organization and motivational structure. I think it’s going to be very hard to produce elite level players if the pyramid system of soccer (employed all over the world except in this country as far as I know) is not instituted. Bottom line: teams can’t be relegated. Imagine if the Galaxy could be relegated? Or one of those awful Canadian MLS teams? What marvelous pressure that would provide. It’s just too easy for clubs when there’s no threat of relegation. It doesn’t create the requisite pressure to produce talent and champions.

      • I’m thinking some more about this and I think you’ve got a good point. I haven’t been out there in about 15 years, but my experience back then was the coaching was really bad. (I became a pro here, went to Europe, cut my teeth, and came back realizing the coaching was just not up to snuff, most of the time.)

        Maybe when all these guys in MLS start retiring, they’ll go out there into the communities and make a productive contribution?

        But, darn, we need a relegation system. You’d see little ole Charleston Battery in MLS in no time.

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