Stars and Gripes

Occasionally interesting insight (and gripes) about the USMNT

Quick Thoughts: USA – Slovenia

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A few quick (non-disallowed goal) thoughts, with a full recap coming tonight/tomorrow:

– While the resiliency of this team is astounding, they simply can’t continue to give up those early goals. For a squad that prides itself on cohesiveness and team play, it’s mind-boggling that they continue to suffer serious mental lapses in the infant stages of games.

– DeMerit and Onyewu need to get their s*** straight. They cannot continue to lose track of strikers and midfielders making runs into the box. Furthermore, along with Bradley and Torres, they gave up far too much space outside of the box. Unmarked runs and space–exactly what we talked about in the preview. Onyewu was terrible for large stretches of the match, and whereas during the England game he looked fully fit, he seemed to be showing signs today that he’s not all the way back. Bob Bradley may need to make some decisions going forward regarding the back line.

– Robbie Findley should not have been on that field. No offense to the Findley family, but when your two main objectives seem to be “run 10 yards and fall” and “run 15 yards and play a poor ball,” you’re probably not ready for this level of soccer. I’ve been saying this since the Turkey game–he offers a nice change off the bench, but he can’t play long stretches. His lack of touch cost the United States dearly, and you can’t tell me that “his pace” contributed to this game. When you’re a forward and given five yards of space, you need to do something other than waste an opportunity. Thankfully, his second yellow ruled him out of the Algeria match, though after this showing, it’s highly unlikely that he would see the pitch anyways.

– Jozy Altidore continues to grow as a striker. He was the key to the second half surge, and is coming more into his own by the game. His awareness of space and positioning has improved noticeably, and his raw strength and speed is starting to become a real issue for opposing back lines. How many 20 year-old strikers in the world right now can cause so many problems for opposing defenses over two games in the World Cup? (Serious question–add to the comments. I can think of Mueller, the absent Pato, and…?)

– Jose Torres wasn’t quite ready for that role. Count me among those who thought he should get the start, but perhaps giving him an abbreviated run out would’ve been more effective. That said, Maurice Edu made a strong claim in his 45 minutes to start against Algeria alongside Bradley.

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Written by Pete Kavanaugh

June 18, 2010 at 1:12 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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