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USMNT vs. South Korea: SBI Live Match Commentary



The U.S. Men’s National Team kicks off an important 2014 today with its first match of the year, a friendly against South Korea at StubHub Center (5pm, ESPN2/UniMas).

The Americans will be featuring a lineup with plenty of experience and quality against the South Koreans, with Landon Donovan spearheading the attack, and Matt Besler and Omar Gonzalez anchoring the central defense.

SBI will be providing live commentary on today’s match, so please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (Today’s commentary is after the jump):





  1. Regarding on the possession knocking the ball backward etc.
    At the highest level as in most matches, the first 5 – 10 minutes of the game is hectic and frenetic. That is why it is important for a team to settle the ball, have a few touches by as many players as possible particularly the defense.
    This further allows a team to get a better feel for game conditions and the competition at hand.
    This is how top flight teams build from the beginning control and then probing and gradually moving forward into attacking mode.
    The team makes tactical analysis & adjustments on the fly.
    As the game progresses a comfort level grows being able to dictate and control to the flow
    and pace of the game.
    In the end, a good win against a K-League, B. Team. and an MLS, B+plus side.

      • yedlin looked way out of his depth. i also don’t know what ‘flair and excitement’ you were talking about with him. he completed a couple of passes, got run around a couple times, and tried a flick to himself that went out of bounds. that’s not really what i was expecting from people’s comments about him.

      • And Connor Casey and Frankie Heydude rescued the USA in WC qualifying 4 years ago against Honduras and Panama respectively. Are you saying by that logic that they should have been starters on the 2010 WC squad because of that?

      • No and I didn’t say EJ should be a starter either. My point was just he is clearly not useless.

        Could Conor Casey made more of an impact coming off the bench in South Africa then say Gomez? I guess we’ll never know.

  2. Love how JK has deepened the pool…from Feilhaber, Beasley and Wondo to Gil, Yedlin and Mix, lots of dudes getting looks. Team will be much stronger for it going into Brazil.

    • Maybe has something to do with his experience coaching Germany—you know, a team that is stacked at every position. Jurgen maybe never believed that there was “only one guy” who could play X position.

  3. Paraphrasing wifey… No one else is scoring for the NATS so Wondo should go to the WC.

    At this juncture, based on recent body of work… Wondo > Gomez for a spot on the WC squad. *not at all making a point about skill or quality of overall play between Herc and Wondo*

      • wasnt this pretty much the US gold cup starting squad? Also, Donovan, Besler, Zusi, and Gonzalez will likely start in Brazil. Beckerman, Parkhurst and Mix have frequently played under JK…the only 3rd team options were Wondo and Davis.

      • SK did get spanked by Mexico. That said, I think JK values a player who is taking advantage of his opportunities and the one player standing out in this respect is Wondo. If one buys this line, then it’s likely Wondo is in the mix for the 4th striker spot.


      • hes definitely in the mix. not sure this match tells you what Wondo will bring against Portugal, Germany and Ghana.

  4. US soccer players are being expelled from Europe do to lack of talent, desire and performance. Altidore may be next. Going back to MLS is a sign of mediocrisy.

  5. Just some observations: Brad Evans shouldn’t be our RB come June, Taylor Twellman and Alexi Lalas are idiots, and some players are reitterating why they aren’t part of the A team. Mixx looks decent, but needs to not play so conservative.

  6. First half analysis

    1) S. Korea is getting too much space and liberty in the US box. Totally unacceptable. Against any team in our group, we get scored on. Perhaps several times.

    2) I get that JK wants the team to play out of the back but FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, this knocking it back and forth from midfield to winger, to midfield to winger to goalkeeper is too frustrating. It reminds of that Simpsons episode where the family goes to see a soccer match and the ball gets passed around to the same three players. You all know the one I am talking about.

    3) Our fullback situation is night-of-the-living-dead scary. Both Evans and Parkhurst have been beaten on several occasions and according to the American announcers, they both have good chances of being in the final 24 for Brazil. I hope that isn’t true.

    4) Despite being up a goal, our attacks have been poor. Is it so difficult to get a decent cross into the box?

    5) The last five minutes was better but I doubt the US wins this one.


    • Beasley is looking excellent right now. Also Brad Davis isn’t good either. That whole left side is poor. Lordy, in some ways I’m happy Evans is playing his way off the team.

    • I think a big factor in that is Wondo’s holdup play. It’s not exactly his strength. That takes an outlet away as a pressure release. Currently, the only way forward is possession up the middle followed by a long ball in the channels.

      There was an SBI discussion this morning about the role of a forward and the value of holdup play. The back passes you’re seeing is the result of a forward not executing holdup and distribution.

      It’s also a symptom of the lack of speed on the field. Korea can press us b/c outside of LD we don’t offer a real threat to beat them on the break.

      Here’s to a more exciting 2nd half.

      • Ya, Eddie does a lot more. He is a threat and wondo barely seems to be even on the field. He can shoot but… nothing else. There just like that. Ball lands near him. Shoots.

      • That’s the knock on Wondo. He is a great finisher and he makes good runs. He just doesn’t offer much else.

        Does have scary speed. Not gunna win a header in a crowd. Holdup play isn’t great. Doesn’t offer much in the buildup. Seems off the pace athletically.

        Look for Eddie’s speed and ariel presence force the Korea CBs back, thus opening more space for possession underneath.

  7. Wasn’t entirely pretty, but MLS is beating a World Cup team right now.

    Where’s the dope that brought all the doom and gloom after a closed door scrimmage in Brazil?

  8. I dont know why yall dont trust gonzo. He is clearly the best passer/ball handler between besler and him, he hasnt made a fatal mistake in like 6 months. He can win set pieces and is a solid defender

  9. I always see this with the us, the defenders can never play the ball forward. I don’t know if this is on them or if there is no movement, but it is frustrating.

      • But people so badly want to believe that the MLS player is better than the two starting in top flight European leagues. And everyone hates Chandler for some reason.

      • The man we need to have believe otherwise is JK.

        He consistently chooses Evans over Cameron for the right back spot and yet most on here think he is good coach.

        The problem is JK. He is not a good coach.

      • no no no…everyone sees what’s going on. Evans stepped in and performed admirably but there are better options

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