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Gold Cup: USA vs. Cuba (SBI Live Commentary)


BALTIMORE — It is now do-or-die time at the CONCACAF Gold Cup, but the U.S. Men’s National Team has as favorable a first match-up as could be desired.

The U.S. will open the knockout rounds of the tournament on Saturday at M&T Bank Stadium (5 pm ET, FOX) by taking on underdog Cuba in the quarterfinals. The Americans have played far from their best thus far at the Gold Cup, but not even another subpar showing should stop them from topping a lowly Cuban side that made it this far despite being outscored 8-1 in the group stage.

While the U.S. should cruise to victory, Jurgen Klinsmann and his players are looking to put forth a more complete performance. The Americans struggled defensively and in possession at times in each of their three group matches, and need to sharpen up in those areas in order to be better equipped for the challenges that could lie ahead.

Join us as we provide live commentary on today’s quarterfinals match. As always, you are welcome to share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (today’s SBI Live Commentary is after the jump):

Live Blog Gold Cup: USA vs. Cuba (SBI Live Commentary)



  1. Otto,

    You may be a high-level coach (and maybe a good one), but you are being pretty naive when it comes running complex and large scale organizations and choosing officers. They ALWAYS have contingency plans especially if they are unhappy. A properly run organization will NEVER fire someone at that level of responsibility unless they have someone in mind (or better lined up). There is too much at risk. I not pulling this out of thin air, I have worked and work C level board members of national and multinational companies.

    Listen, I like Bradley, and I think he is a very good coach (even when people were bagging him years ago – although too defensive). Clearly, you seem to have some level of attachment to him. However, it was widely known in ’06 that he WAS NOT the first choice of USSF. When you are not the wanted candidate, you have to work extra hard to keep the position. JK was the first choice in ’06, but USMNT was not willing to give him the position of coach and technical director until ’11.

    As far as being technical director, it takes a lot more than 4 year to see the result. This isn’t a club or a regional system. You have to change the system of a diversified and large country approximately 3000 miles wide and 1000 miles north/south with a bunch existing fiefdoms.

  2. Where is your response Davis? You called me (thinking I was someone else) ignorant inferring that since JK moved here in 2003 there was never a chance of him being in Europe anytime from 2003-11
    And don’t try to weasel out bc this is what your were inferring

  3. Deuce closing in on LD’s international scoring record. Seems to me this tourney he is scoring like he did at his peak for Fulham by getting into smart positions, knowing when to outwork his marker and finishing with precision.

    • Completely agree. I love when he is being pesky and annoying while finding those slots. He can still get up as seen on his headers and celebratory leaps. Hard to be too negative on him right now, but I still hate to see him look up with the ball and completely predictably dribble into traffic, even in a game like this. His PKs still give me no confidence. Perhaps needless to say, but he still needs to be on the field.

      • Maradoughnuts.Not drinking beer. But I will tell you, your “great” guy shamed the epitome of a great guy, Bob Bradley when he was US coach. He would sneak over to Europe to meet with Klinsmann and plot JKs takeover. More than once, as many as 5 times I have heard. I got this straight from the mouth of a very in the know person who works directly with US Soccer.
        Is this the first time this has been done by any level of management? Of course not.Do ‘great” guys with integrity treat dedicated workers like this. NO.
        Like him or not Bob Bradley is a great guy, one of the highest levels of integrity to coach at any level in this country.
        A guy like that who bled for the sport deserved to be treated with more dignity than that from your little buddy Sunil.
        Want more?

      • Nope. No more. That was anonymous and boring enough. Names or it didn’t happen. Good night.

      • Though for the record, Bob Bradley is absolutely a great guy, and a wonderful asset to our advancement. He is welcome back anytime, in my view.

      • Oh it is a shame that your little man friend never showed him any respect. BB is a great man and apparently a coach good enough to be ranked 24th best in the world by 4-4-2 magazine.
        Regardless your “great” guy screwed him again with his Hall of Fame induction. Gulati controls EVERYTHING at US Soccer so why did they hold the Hall of Fame ceremony during the height of Staebek’s season and a 13 hour flight away from where BB lives. Why ? Because your “great” guy is a weasel and did not want to face BB
        What a shame that BB could not even be present for his own National HOF induction and to share the moment with his son.
        Want more?

      • otto,

        why is it so bad that Gulati was ready to move on from Bob? and that he was considering a replacement before he actually made the decision? Bob was treated with great respect! He was given a chance to win one final tournament, and then it was time to go with the guy who the guy in charge could take the program to the next level. Bob was great. JK’s “upside” was a looooot higher… what’s your beef?

      • otto,

        why is it so bad that Gulati was ready to move on from Bob? and that he was considering a replacement before he actually made the decision? Bob was treated with great respect! He was given a chance to win one final tournament, and then it was time to go with the guy who the guy in charge thought could take the program to the next level. Bob was great. JK’s “upside” was a looooot higher… what’s your beef?

      • Nope, you’re not getting rid of me that fast.
        You talk a lot of crap then you run and hide and say weak stuff like “say names or it didn’t happen” What a chicken you are.
        You know I would not throw a friend under the bus and Ives would probably not let the name be public any.
        But it happened, little man

      • Gulati never played or coached at any respectable level yet he makes almost every SOCCER decision at US Soccer. He is a financial wizzard and should stay in that capacity but his little man complex won’t allow it
        So he hires JK and makes him HC AND TECHNICAL DIRECTOR.
        Now this job of tech director is actually moe important than head coach. Do you know why? Because if it is done properly in 10-15 years we could actually become a real soccer nation instead of recruiting players raised overseas.
        If you think we are headed in the right direction than you truly are clueless.
        Because Gulati and JK are running the show we have no real technical director, no technical player development plan,a joke of a US Developmental academy where pay to play runs the show and 18 year old players play against average players their own age.
        Compared to other real soccer nations developmental scheme we are an absolute joke. I should know, I see it everyday at my job
        This is why Gulati is a wart on the ass of progress for US Soccer.
        Want more?

      • If Jurgen Klinsmann is getting in the way of you developing players, that is your problem. Figure it out. Please don’t look to the coach of the national team to do that for you. The coaches in this country who blame it on the system….

        If we only had a better system, we’d be producing studs…

        get over yourself and start doing something that is helping then.

      • and again you show your arrogant ignorance. JK moved to California in 2003…

        I’m guessing you’re El Comandante cowardly posting under another name…again…

      • Actually, you are way off here (like in most of your insipid comments). The dance with Klinsmann started at least as far back as 2006 when he was considered for the post ahead of Bradley. He has been living in the states since the early 2000’s, He split time between Germany and California as manager of the German National Team between 2004 – 2006. He had been in the US, full time again after he left Bayern in early ’09. So no, no flying to Europe.

      • Hey Don Lamb..I do something everyday to try to make the system better. I have worked with at least 3 of the guys who played for the US tonight. I am doing my part.
        You get over yourself little man.Go back to your u8 girls team
        And Klinsmann is also TECHNICAL DIRECTOR and he hasn’t do crap to make us a better nation at developing player
        Know what you are talking about before you post

      • congrats, dude. you must be a kickass coach. you are clearly a fantastic communicator. keep it up.

      • Hey davis, where did JK coach in 2006 and 2008-9? I guess he was never in Europe after 2003?

        And I am not anyone else

        Why do some of you not believe JK would plot to get Bradley’s job? As if the guy is some kind of beacon of integrity? NO, he has proven he is not.
        I just know this, like them or not neither Bradley nor Arena would sneak around to get another coaches job.
        And trying to say I am El Comandante makes you look like a loser
        Don’t know the guy, don’t read his stuff

      • I would fully expect JK to “plot” to get the job if he wanted it. What’s the issue there? He’s not boys with Bob. And I would fully expect Gulati to look into potential replacements and determine when that time for a switch would be best. Sounds like good leadership. Bob got his chance to go out with a title, and Jurgen got plenty of time to prepare for 2014.

      • Gulati to look into potential replacements is one thing. To have secret meetings behind BBs back is slimy on the part of both men
        Good leadership? Maybe in your world.

      • What made them “slimy?” Sounds like you have an agenda using adjectives like that, but you don’t really explain anything. My point of view is that Gulati was smart looking ahead (that’s what leaders do), especially when there was someone with the resume of Klinsmann there showing interest.

        See my other responses above, too, please.

      • That is nothing against Bob, who should have made us all proud… and will hopefully continue to climb the ranks.

      • Bob is climbing the ranks and is rated 24the best coach by a reputable European soccer magazine. He should have been named technical director as well

        Do you go out and sneak around behind the backs of your employees to find their replacement? If so do you tell them about it? If you don’t you are slimy too

      • A leader isn’t there to make friends. Tough choices need to be made, and Gulati thought Klinsmann was better. He probably thought before he hired Bob the first time. Should he have told Bob then that he was getting the job, but he was second choice? If you ever get to a leadership position, I advise you to not sacrifice the good of the organization because of something that you are tied to personally. You might want to give up the leadership role at that point.

      • Don. yes I guess I am a high level coach. Good luck with…well whatever you do in the game in addition to blogs.

        And for the record, Bradley was never treated well by Gulati and was even treated poor before, during and after his firing.

      • cheers. I am sure if we had some philosophical conversations about player development, we would find a lot of common ground. I am sorry if you were affected by how Gulati treated Bob. Don’t let that stop you from helping to create a better and stronger culture around the game in the US… however that may be. all the best.

  4. Ahem, Cuba has already been eliminated from the 18 WC qualifiers by a thing called Curacao.

    I didn’t know there was a thing called Curacao.

    Enough said about the “quality” of the US opponent today…pointless game, does no favors to the quality and competitiveness of Concacaf and the Gold Cup.

  5. If JK was smart, he’d pull Bradley (Mix) Dempsey (Wondo or Gordon) and Timmy (Beasley) at halftime. THis game is won, no need to risk Injury now

    • +1 I think JK will use all three subs and use them early. One question is… who among the bench players does he see as being valuable vs. Jamaica (the likely opponent)? If Beasley/Corona/Gordon were brought in for this, he may want to give them a run-out. Looks like Corona is just coming on….

      • Better listen to Diego Maradoughnuts guys. He actually emails back and forth with Sunil Gulati!!!!!!!!!!
        Gulati returns EVERYONES email you Nimrod.

      • I suppose you imagine this bothers me? Your claim to fame, apparently, is attempting to trade SBI comments with Diego’s Maradoughnuts. Good work out there. Maybe one day you will gain the personal confidence to send messages under a consistent name. Doubtful.

      • More personal confidence in my finernails than you have in your entire brain.
        Boasting about knowing Sunil is the biggest joke I ever heard.
        I read your posts all the time and you have no clue what is going on at US Soccer

      • And you haven’t the guts to use your name. I read your posts all the time too, pal. and you aren’t “Otto”.

      • And do you know how you know that Gulati returns everyone’s emails? Probably because I post that information frequently on this site and encourage anybody and everyone to take advantage of it….

        Eat it bud, go get some real info.

      • Hit a nerve didn’t I ?

        Have a happy hour to go to. I will be back in about 3 hours.

        Maybe you can Skype with Sunil until I get back !!!!

      • Have fun at your happy hour. I have no interest in spending time fighting with internet people about Sunil Gulati or anybody else important to US Soccer. Yes, I do know the guy from school. No, I strongly doubt he considers be amongst the 20,000 most important people he knows. He’s a big dog, and a great guy in my limited experience with him. I think it’s a pity when people accuse him of things that would appear ridiculous for a man in his position in life, particularly when they do so with no evidence.

        Whatever. Go drink some beer and get over it. I will too.

      • No actually I am coming back with a reply. Not that Gulati broke any rules . He is clean. A great guy who does great things for the progress in this country?Far from it my man.
        I will enlighten/wake you up you when I return.
        In the meantime don’t you talk about anyone hiding behind a nickname. No one here is allowed to give there real name.

  6. Zardes has made a couple of bad decisions. SHould have passed to Dempsey in the slot not Bacon and tried to chip the goalie but he doesnt have the skill to pull it off

    • Zardes is transitioning from young gun to starlet. For fans who aren’t as invested into the USMNT as most of us are, he’s a total newcomer. I’m interested to see how he handles to spotlight and extra media attention. So far he’s looked pretty good.

  7. A bit off topic, but are there any SBI people who live in Denver? I just relocated here yesterday, and while I can barely find my way around the block right now, I am definitely going to be looking for good bars, etc. to watch US games. Any advice is appreciated.

    • I don’t live in Denver…but my sister and her family do, and I’ve been going for years.

      Great soccer bars: The British Bulldog and The Three Lions. Same bar group. The Bulldog is the oldest, three lions bigger. I haven’t been to Fado’s (across from Coors Field)…but they show matches from what I heard from a buddy. Churchill’s Public House feels like a local british pub.

      Denver’s an awesome, young and vibrant city. Great music and food. You should love it. And get up to Boulder…awesome, in a different way. Some great restaurants and bars.

    • The Three Lions (get there early for a big game) and British Bulldog, but I’d be curious to hear other options. I watched some Copa America at Rincon Argentino in Boulder. Small space and only one TV, but great crowd and fantastic empanadas

  8. Great cross by Chandler and an easy finish by Deuce! That’s the early start I was looking for, now we’re in the driver’s seat.

  9. I agree with the commentator above that Klinsmann seems to give every player that extra vote of confidence when they have looked subpar. That ain’t bad. I still don’t trust Alvarado, so when Brooks returns it should be Gonzalez and Brooks for the last two games.

  10. I like the lineup but I’m surprised that Tim ream’s not playing left-center back. We have a lot of offensive firepower and need Johannson and Dempsey finish their opportunities to make it more of a stroll in the park. If bedoya can control his flank and play some defense Chandler should be fine. It’s time for Beckerman to also step up and not look like a boy playing against men. Closer game than before 2-0 USA.

  11. Just like I said yesterday — Chandler is guaranteed a starting spot on Klinsmann’s team. The only problem will be when the US team has to travel to Central America to play away WC qualifiers. Chandler will then undoubtedly develop personal issues or pick up an injury and a replacement will have to be found.

  12. Let’s go USA, let’s beat Cuba in soccer. The USA Baseball team just defeated Cuba in the Pan Am games semifinals, after defeating them in the round robin competition a few days ago. So, that was twice in the same tourney.


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