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Late Ireland winner dooms USMNT to defeat in Dublin


Saturday’s U.S. Men’s National Team friendly against Ireland was significantly scrappier than the 3-0 battering over Bolivia that preceded it as set pieces and defense ruled the day in Dublin. When that day was done, though, the U.S. was undone by a 90th minute goal.

Bobby Wood’s first half finish was canceled out by a goal from Graham Burke in the second half before Ireland scored yet again in the 90th minute to seal a 2-1 win. Ireland’s goal late finish came from Alan Judge, who danced through the box before rifling a shot past Bill Hamid and into the back of the net.

The loss is the USMNT’s first under Dave Sarachan following two wins and a draw.

Just moments before halftime, and slightly against the run of play, the U.S. took the lead on a goal from Wood. The finish came via a set piece, as Wil Trapp’s free kick was headed on by Matt Miazga. Wood pounced on that second ball inside the six-yard box, tapping home for his second goal in as many games with the USMNT following a difficult year with Hamburg.

In the 57th minute, the Irish pulled level on a mistake from Hamid. The USMNT goalkeeper whiffed on a corner kick into the six-yard box, leaving a wide-open net. Darragh Lenihan’s shot banked off of Burke and in, pushing the scoreline to 1-1.

Ireland appeared to have a second in the 68th minute as the U.S. was beaten once again on a set piece. However, Lenihan’s finish was undone by an offside call, fortunately for the U.S.

The first half was largely level, although the Irish were likely the more aggressive of the two teams. Hamid had a few shaky moments in the opening half, including one miscommunication with Miazga that led to a dropped cross. However, Hamid also made one solid first half save, stopping a knuckling longshot from James McClean.

Throughout the second half, the USMNT made a number of chances to bring new pieces into the fray. Tim Parker came in for his USMNT debut early in the second half while Josh Sargent and Shaq Moore entered the match with 20 minutes remaining, replacing Wood and DeAndre Yedlin, respectively. Luca de la Torre also entered late, earning his USMNT debut.

Next up for the USMNT is a test that will most certainly be the toughest this young group has faced as the U.S. heads to Lyon to take on World Cup contenders France.


  1. Others mentioned it, but when you play teenagers against grown men, the teens will lose too many of the physical battles. When your team loses most of the 50-50 battles, you will need a lot of luck or some magic to prevail; the USA had neither.

    • They will also see time against France, and I think we’re going to learn (a) only some of this new generation are “ready out of the box” to start (b) it’s going to be a longer term transition and (c) defense and keeper remain sore spots. I mean this defense for about 30 minutes struggled to find white jerseys passing upfield.

  2. Very, very disappointing outing. While I didn’t expect the US to overrun Ireland, I just don’t rate this Ireland team as very good. On a day where I was hoping to see some players step up I just didn’t see much. In particular, Hamid was terrible. He is not the same player he was with DC United. He looked unsure of himself. Hamid should not be called up again until his form is markedly better.

  3. I think Wood needs some help so 451 isn’t working.

    I think Weah, Robinson, and McKennie look like the real deal, and may step into starting roles, but based on Ireland I am not sure the New Generation will be swapped in en masse. I think you’re going to see some holdovers resurface and the kids will have to elevate their games to win jobs over them, which is probably good overall.

    I am not sold Green or Adams inside works, and am a little concerned if there is anyone but Pulisic who can play a playmaker role centrally. Maybe Saief?

    Backline should still be open auditions except for maybe Robinson.

    Keeper I hope Steffen comes in and owns it because this remains rubbishy.

    I think it’s going to be a longer transition than some hoped.

      • Bluntly, Villafana has plenty of crap tape and then I get to watch him wall passed to smithereens at the end of the game. “Well, harrumph, make Robinson do it more than once.” Like Villafana does it once. Yeah, sure, my point exactly, start him again, see what happens. In the end soccer is about stringing good games together. Can’t do it if you don’t see the field behind lesser rubbish.

      • “Backline should still be open auditions except for maybe Robinson.”- I guess you left yourself a little wiggle room there. Sarachan isn’t going to be around two months from now his mission seems to be to leave as much tape as possible. Robinson got the first match, Villa got the second, if you notice every field player has gotten to play and eight different defenders have gotten a start. The problem last cycle wasn’t that we didn’t settle on a line up it was that we did. How and where players perform from September to May next year is much more important than what they did in a friendly in June 4 1/2 years before the next WC.
        You’ve advocated getting rid of everyone that was remotely involved in the last cycle, anyone that has had struggles finding playing time with their clubs, anyone that hasn’t hit the big time by age 22. By your standards, we’d literally be fielding U18s. If you didn’t see that the “kids” were physically outmatched today you weren’t watching very closely.

      • I’m not saying get rid of. We have a “player pool.” They go back into the pool, the part not being called on this week. I then go look at players with less of a track record. If they prove no better, I cycle back around and give them new chances.

  4. saw the highlights. liked what i saw. new faces. a fresh look. these kids are alright. they were equal to this ireland team which as bizzy pointed out appeared to be at full strength.

    • my two cents: is ireland the kind of place where a black man feels unsafe? hears/receives racial comments that sound like threats of physical violence? the reason that i ask is because i don’t think hamid was his usual self out there. did he feel racially threatened? (he was beloved in dc and in all of mls, i think)

      • He’s just rusty from a lack of regular game minutes with his new club after his move abroad in the winter

      • You should probably have some evidence before you float the idea that Hamid must have struggled today because racist Irishmen had threatened his safety.

      • $0.02- I think you’re confusing Ireland with Rangers-Celtic. Ya know, they don’t all look the same…

  5. In terms of the mids, the difference between Jones and Trapp is Trapp tends to get stuck colorlessly passing the ball sideways. Particularly when the backline couldn’t pass the ball forward in the first half, that is not good. We couldn’t work the ball forward for like 35 minutes to start the game. Trapp needs to develop less of a boring pass it sideways wallpaper game.

    They lacked for someone capable of playing an incisive through ball as opposed to knocking it wide all day. Saief would have helped, but this game didn’t really sell me on Adams as an interior guy. I still see him as a wide guy.

    I thought the mids livened up when Sargent came in. Until then Weah had been about the only one impressing me, other than some of Trapp’s defense, and McKennie was surprisingly quiet.

    Corona, Rubin, and delaTorre are kind of wasting my time, the first two never wases the last one I don’t even know how you get our call when you can’t dress in the championship. And I say that as a Fulham fan.

  6. I took stick this week for critiquing Miazga, who got spun around into the ground on the goal. Over. Rated.

    To be fair, Parker that I had pushed for didn’t look great, Villafana was being wall passed to death in the second half, CCV was fouling. Other than RB it was underwhelming.

    I am a little concerned CB is not getting fixed so far. EPB can’t even make the field and the rest of these people don’t look any better than anything else from recent years.

    I’ll be curious if Robinson gets to start against France. Both he and Steffen there is going to be this question hanging out there of does Sarachan get it, was this some of the B team, saving players for France, or did he really think all these older players were a step up. Wood and Yedlin were the only ones who acted the part.

    • Except for Villafana, just about all our back line players are in their early 20’s. Defenders usually don’t come into their own until their mid 20’s. It’s too soon to be concerned. On the international youth level a lot of these guys have done well. Now, if they haven’t progressed in the next 2 years, then we need to worry.

    • I thought Parker did well in his limited time. He won most of the 50-50s he was involved in (a rarity for US players in this game). He was disciplined and helped make Ireland’s goal that was called back for a (probably questionable) offside call. He did not fail to mark players or mark the wrong one.
      Miazga did OK, but he really, really got toasted on Ireland’s second goal.
      CCV always looked like he was a bit desperate and was grabbing attackers way too much, that is a habit that will cost him sooner or later.

      • Parker got beat on a header for a goal called back on offsides. And I say this as someone who would like for him and his physical style to make inroads, that the defense has gotten a little soft.

      • As a defender I don’t believe you can get burned as bad as Miazga and then say “otherwise I did ok.”

      • CCV doesn’t impress me much, the broadcasters put their finger on it, too many tackles a beat late. Like Hamid I question whether his club situation is helping him.

    • Yeah, I tried to point out this mistake during the week and was told I was being harsh and cherry picking. Maybe they meant picking the ball out of his net. Even when he wasn’t letting them in he was punching balls and waving at them.

    • My positive spin is maybe knowing France is the better team from their Ireland game, we gave Hamid the “easier” game and saved Steffen for France. One can only hope. Otherwise I think there’s a fair amount of undeserved pecking order maintenance going on in the back and at keeper, for a team that’s not winning many games against good teams, and giving up goals.

      • Sorry in the article that you argued with, not the idea that Hamid would start against Ireland and Steffen against France.

  7. Seemed to miss a playmaker out there today without Saief, Green, or Parks not available. Could definitely see the men vs boys aspect as our 18-20-year-olds were consistently muscled off the ball by the 26-28-year-old Irishman. For me, Hamid looked rusty and Miazga looked lost once Parker subbed in, whether it was the partnership or fatigue I’m not sure. It might be 4 or 5 nothing in Paris next week.

    • I think Saief and Green were injured where Parks was a coaching decision. I’d question the value of more Corona and Rubin and no Parks.

      • Parks and EPB weren’t even on the bench so that would cause you to think something was going on, since Ireland had three more players dressed than the US.

    • I think the biggest difference between the teams was how Ireland won most of the 50/50 balls. It seemed like they got at least 2/3 of them. That’s a lot of changes in possession that adds up over the length of a game. With all the subs in the 2nd half, the gam3e got very ragged, so I don’t think the final goal means much. After the Bolivia game I wrote that I wouldn’t be surprised if the US loses to France by 2-0 or 3-0. They could really exploit our youth and inexperience and it could be worse than I first thought.

  8. I don’t know how to feel about this game ?. Can’t even be upset with the results. With injuries to Green and Saief, and a Mckennie / Trapp / Adams midfield (? % defensive) I think we did what we could and made the best of what we had (although we wasted the little chances we had!!!!). The Ireland team was stacked, and their win came in the last minute….just something to think about

    1 Doyle – Bradford City – League One ???????
    2 Coleman – Everton – EPL ???????
    5 Duffy – Brighton & Hove Albion – EPL ???????
    4 O’Shea – Sunderland – League One ???????
    21 Long – Burnley – EPL ???????
    12 Rice – West Ham United – EPL ???????
    13 Hendrick – Burnley – EPL ???????
    8 O’Dowda – Bristol City – Championship ???????
    11 McClean – West Bromwich Albion – Championship ???????
    24 Burke- Shamrock Rovers – Ireland Premier Division ??
    19 Walters – Burnley – EPL ???????

    We need to put something better together OFFENSIVELY against France ?? or it will be target practice ⚽⚽⚽ next week!!!!


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