The first half was much better than the second half as this one ends in a 2-2 draw. The US is now unbeaten in its last five games vs. Mexico (2-0-3), tying its longest unbeaten streak in series history (also 1993-96 & 2005-09).
Here are the highlights.
Anyone have a clue why Gonzalez was taken out instead of Beasler? I am not sure if he is ready…However, was impressed with Yedlin and his ability to move upfield so quickly…
Almost want to have Cameron paired up with Besler, and have Fabian Johnson, Yedlin, or Chandler at right back in order to hold down Ronaldo and Asamoah. Those are the 2 players we need to be most concerned about and we need a player with pace to mark them the entire game…
Rimando- pretty good, astonishingly one-footed
Beltran- not bad, good on the ball, not as good defensively
Gonzalez- won a lot of balls, gave a lot of balls back. Terrible on the 1st mexico goal
Parkhurst- very good. Should receive more balls on his second foot, but I’m sure the coaches have already or will work with him on that
Beckerman- best game I’ve seen him play for the US. Good on the ball. Terrible on the 2nd mexico goal, going sideways into the shot block.
Bradley- made ESPN drool… rightfully so
Dempsey- okay. took up a lot of markers and took a lot of hits.
Davis – decent. Dribbles better than zusi, for whatever that’s worth
Zusi- pretty good. Great distributor of the ball, its a shame he probably can’t play CM at this level. He’s just not cut for the wing
Wondo- great. Did all the little stuff: holding up, connecting a lot of varied passes, winning fouls. Scored a goal. What more can you ask.
Goodson- poor. Caught diving into challenges in advance of the line, and terrible on the 2nd mexico goal, going into a shotblock sideways.
Green – poor. Lost a lot of balls, and with little return. The foul on the edge of the box was the only time he looked remotely dangerous.
Donovan – poor. Lost a lot of balls. Trying to do too much on the dribble, didn’t win any balls himself.
Eddie – good. Flaired wide dangerously, scored a goal*
Edu – pretty good. Won a lot of balls, and covered a lot defensively. Not as involved in build-up as beckerman but as players on the pitch fatigued the midfield play deteriorated severely.
Yedlin – pretty good. Didn’t have much to do defensively, but covered and marked well enough. Got forward well a couple times.
I thought Wondo, Beckerman and Parkhurst probably helped their stock the most, while Omar Gonzalez probably hurt his the most.
I don’t know if it was the 4-4-2 or if it was Beckerman playing back more than Jones does, but I hope Klinsi finds a way to keep Bradley farther up the field like he was tonight or like he was against Panama in Seattle (when Cameron played deeper).
I agree on Matt’s list of who upped their stock.
Parkhurst never gets caught on defense. Doesn’t offer much going forward, but that’s okay with me. Beckerman was also very good. Wondo may not have international pace or dribbling, but positionally he’s just SO. PERECT. Always in the right spot at the right time. I think Edu helped himself too.
Lets not pass judgement on Green yet. Remember he’s 18 and that was his first exposure to this level of football. Same goes for Yedlin.
What we desperately need: To figure out the backline situation and for Jozy/Dempsey/Donovan to find form again.
There are certain defenders that just seem prone to dumb mistakes (Pepe, David Luis, Demichelis) and I feel like Gonzalez falls into this category. Two small, simple mistakes cost the U.S. 2 goals yesterday and, as anyone who’s been watching the USMNT can attest, this isn’t the first time something like this had happened. I don’t feel secure with him in the starting line-up. Here’s what I’d like to see in Brazil (subject to change based on performance i.e. not set in stone):
CB: Cameron/Goodson/Orozco/Onyewu (Like Trent Hill)
Please don’t yell at me for putting Yedlin’s name on here, but I really liked what I saw from him and I’m only starting him at RB if Cameron is moved into the middle. He’s like Beasley and has tremendous speed to recover if he gets beat and the bonus is he has better defensive positional awareness.
Is there anyone else that can play LM that I haven’t listed because none of those players fills me with confidence for one reason or another? Corona? Green, if he performs better in the upcoming friendlies (he was alright in this one, but I’d need to see more to punch a ticket for him)? I feel like we’ve seen Zusi fail on the left?
I’d really like to find away to have both Johannsson and Altidore on the field at the same time. Johannsson can’t handle being the target forward, but is absolute class with the ball on his feet and is used to the close-quarter passing that Altidore was so successful with at AZ. The problem with having them both on the pitch at the same time though is that Dempsey would either be dropped or would have to move out left. I’m not confident that he would put in the required defensive shift out wide and am overall not impressed with what he’s been providing over 90 minutes.
Really liked Beckerman’s discipline position-wise and am really, really, really surprised that I’ve been convinced that he and Bradley are our best pairing in midfield.
So entertain me if you will and imagine the above line-up with Bradley-Beckerman as our central-midfield pairing and Altidore-Johannsson as our starting forwards. Donovan, Dempsey and Jones would all be available of the bench. Wouldn’t it be nice to have Dempsey and/or Donovan come in when we need a goal instead of Shea or Wondolowski (who’s growing on me)? Or for Jones to come in and provide some energy and defensive cover late in a game? These would be actual impact subs, subs that can change a game and that’s not something to take lightly. Sometimes a team isn’t built with the best 11 players, but is instead built with the 11 players that most effectively play within the coach’s system.
I hope it’s OK to put this here. I’ve recently become a huge Matt Doyle fan and this is great.
@ Ian, good piece, but Bradley has played this role before while covering for Pjanic at Roma. So, his performance in that position is hardly a surprise as he was doing it for over a year at Roma which doesn’t actually play their midfield in set positions per se as we are used to due to the free flowing nature of their midfield attack.
I was happy to see it, and I think it will work in the World Cup, however the issue continues to be the back and how to deal with the press which seems to disrupt our flow (second half last night). I think this means we have to have speed merchants in the back if we run this setup meaning that Johnson/Yedlin must be our wing backs. Once Yedlin came on for Beltran it was like the pressure was released, and I actually fault Zusi for not using Yedlin more effectively in the second to completely release the pressure.
Btw, the formation we played last night was the same formation we’ve played the whole cycle. They announced it differently, but it played exactly the same. Dempsey was virtually always behind the striker, and dropped deep in midfield a lot, and our wingers had scarce defensive responsibilities. Numbers mean nothing, but last nights 4-4-2 was exactly the same as the previous 4-2-3-1
Am I the only one who thinks Dempsey has just looked poor in his last few national team games? He does more and more of his sitting on the grass pouting, while being very weak on the ball.
Bradley deserves the arm band. He looks more confident and displayed great awareness and dominated the midfield in the first half. Gonzales looked out of place and hurt his chances. Beckerman played great. Julian green displayed his lack of experience but if he continues to grow in Munich then I can see him becoming a great player. Overall great match but the US needs to maintain that play for 90minutes, looked flat in the second half and allowed Mexico to get back in it, but it’s no surprise because 7 or 8 players from the Mexican team play on one club and know each other well, the yanks put in a great match even though we had two major calls against us toward the end. Not offsides and clear penalty wasn’t given.
100% am of the opinion that if the US go a 4-2-3-1 that Michael Bradley has to play the CAM role. Put Beckerman and Jones in the two CDM spots. That is our best MF.
Beckerman is incredibly underrated technically and having him in there would allow Jones some freedom.
Bradley will track back and play box to box…Dempsey won’t.
IMO, our best lineup right now is this…
Dempsey would better work harder. what I watched last night from awfull.
We need some young legs in Brazil. It’s gonna be hot, humid and draining. Yedlin was active. Gets forward like crazy. He’s an actual right back. Not sure he can handle Ronaldo but no one can, let along Brad Evans.
Sorry Brad, you’re out. Both Brads are out. Davis just doesn’t offer anything playing wide at the International level. Beckerman was good but he still scares the f out of me. No speed. When he was tracking the Mexican player in the first half he fouled him because he couldn’t stop his run, and the guy was dribbling. He’ll have to track even faster players in the World Cup. Geoff Cameron is the man to play next to Bradley, I’m convinced of it. Yedlin, Parkhurst, F Johnson can all fill in at RB.
Cameron/Bradley please. I’d settle for him playing CB too.
Green looked raw. Not making the team based off of that. Harsh yes, but we don’t have the time to wait for him to develop/adjust. He’s just not there yet. But i reserve the right to change my mind of he performs better in May friendlies.
Wondo did the ONE THING he does well. Yeah he might make the team just because of that. But I prefer a more versatile player. Klinsman has some TOUGH choices to make.
Mexico does have a lot of america players, and it should be pointed out that miguel herera was america’s boss for many seasons. The 5-4-1/5-3-2 they play is herera’s trademark. The goals however, did not involve great combos by the america players, other guys were key movers.
Dempsey does track back. While he doesn’t play box-to-box, he wins a lot of balls in the middle of the pitch. That along with flairing wide during attacks… I wish there were distance stats out there. All I can reference is the confeds cup in 2009 when everyone said dempsey was lazy and not tracking, and statistically he was covering more ground than any other player. He still covers a ton of ground. Not getting as many touches because other teams guard him so closely, but it let’s other guys get open.
Not to mention he played eddie in for what should’ve been the winner, and played beltran in on our second goal. So… I think saying dempsey had a poor game is a little ignorant.
I thought Beckerman was embarrassing himself in the second half, he could have been red carded when he slid tackled the guy after he couldn’t chase him down. Beckerman has a solid touch but he any player with decent speed can advance the ball on him.
Dempsey’s touch is back.
David Yeddell looked good, I was surprised his touch and passes looked solid.
OMG the announcers would not shut up about Wondo. Altidore would have bullied those defenders like they were 12. Wondo played decent, but
Wondo played decent, but no way he’s on Altidore or Iceman’s level.
2009 was a LONG time ago. I love Dempsey and he should 100% start, but Bradley is the best MF we have by far…and his work rate is what Dempsey’s used to be.
I’m not calling Dempsey lazy and not what I intended with my comment…but I just don’t think he should be in the middle. I agree with everything you said about formations! Spot on!
I agree too that Cameron would be a better fit with Jones at the CDM spots (Bradley @ CAM) but there isn’t a single other CB I trust over Cameron…and that sucks.
Oh no question bradley has been our best midfielder for at least a year now, agree. Not sure he has the pace for the outside. Seattle probably won’t move him. As the season goes on, we will see how bradley is used by TFC. If they play him more advanced, things may move around as you described.
He without the pace being dempsey
Although, heck,zusi does alright out there
“David Yeddell looked good, I was surprised his touch and passes looked solid.”
David Yedell is like Deandre Yedlin and David Yelldell’s love-child?
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