USA v. Honduras – Game Thread

http://soccergambit.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/soccer_ball1.jpg

Plenty of rumors floating about prior to gametime, with most of them having to do with Freddy Adu possibly leaving the team to head back to Europe in the next few days.

My early lineup prediction:

Davies

Rogers                    Adu                Quaranta

Feilhaber  H0lden

Pearce                                                  Cherundolo

Marshall   Parkhurst

Perkins

———————

LINEUP

Ching

Adu

Rogers                                   Quaranta

Pause  Beckerman

Pearce                                                Cherundolo

Parkhurst  Marshall

Perkins

——————

Why do we need Ching in the lineup?

Why do we need Pause AND Beckerman?

This is the toughest game of the bracket, why not put out your strongest team?

Color me confused at these choices. We’re in for a snooze-fest with Ching up top. Lots of long balls, lots of fouls. Everyone crying that Adu didn’t do anything (even though he’ll rarely touch the ball).

——————-

I think the most discouraging thing is that Bradley is showing his hand a bit to the fans. Davies has been on a tear for the US squad, but the second that Ching is deemed fit, he gets the start over Charlie.

I’m just not sure why this US setup needs a “target” forward at all. We’ve got a squad loaded with speed and the ability to launch lethal counterattacks – a “target” forward that walks and plods around the field does us absolutely no good.

I’m very disappointed, to say the least.

——————-

Kickoff

Look for Ching to do a lot of falling down early on, drawing pretty useless fouls near midfield.

——————–

20′

So we’re being thoroughly outplayed. Marshall and Parkhurst are struggling mightily to defend the Honduran strikers.

Ching is having no impact at all.

——————–

34′

We look weak in the back. Parkhurst is a slow fouling machine and Marshall has looked completely lost in the formation.

Pause is sticking incredibly close to Beckerman, which is really clogging the field up.

I’d like to see Feilhaber come in for Pause and Davies in for Ching.

——————–

Halftime

Well that was ugly. Honduras outplayed us for 45 minutes there. Some notes:

  • It’s pretty evident that Parkhurst and Marshall don’t belong. They’re both constantly out of position and are continually fouling instead of winning balls. Some poor decisions by Bradley to bring them in it would seem.
  • Logan Pause passes the ball fine, but his decisions and speed of play just aren’t up to what we need in the midfield. He looks like a fine MLS player, but he doesn’t belong at this level. He’s also sticking incredibly close to Beckerman and not showing any defensive range at all.
  • Heath Pearce is making it ever harder to defend his status with the team. His decision-making is just awful.
  • Kyle Beckerman is certainly making the most of his call up. He’s everywhere on the field and making some great change-of-pace plays. He has a good sense of when to liven the pace and when to slow the game down. I said he reminds me of a rich-man’s Mastroeni, but I actually think he’s somewhat of a poor-man’s Feilhaber. A bit better defensively, but not quite the naturally gifted footballer that Feilhaber is.
  • Robbie Rogers certainly looks the part of a good winger and he makes the most of his abilities. However, I fear he’s never going to be more than a one-dimensional player as he shows very little ability or confidence in his right foot. Good speed and crossing though.
  • Quaranta is showing that, from a pure talent standpoint, he belongs on the US squad with the A team. Foot skills, wing skills, and striker skills all in a fine athletic package. Unfortunately, he’s just never seemed to put it all together long enough to be considered a necessary player. He looks pretty good so far, but he needs to shore up the amount of mental lapses he has.
  • Adu looked fine and made the plays he could. Unfortunately, our backline played long-ball the whole half, killing any chance of Adu using his creativity. I’d like to see him playing alongside Feilhaber and Davies in this half.
  • Ching was useless, as usual. 1 or 2 good touches out of about 15-20 chances. I’ll never understand the fascination with him.

Bradley needs to bring in Davies and Feilhaber and take it to the Hondurans in the 2nd half. Drop Ching and Pause.

——————–

70′

https://i2.wp.com/cache.daylife.com/imageserve/0dm42Gp4nl1Ip/610x.jpg

Fantastic work from Davies and Feilhaber! GOAL! QUARANTA!!!! 1-0 USA!!!

—————-

75′

Goal! Brian Ching! 2-0. (I refuse to ‘bold’ this part)

—————-

FINAL

2-0 USA.

When the 2 players (that should have started) came on, the game changed. Feilhaber and Davies should have started. Probably the worst thing that happened was Ching getting a lucky deflection goal to fuel the masses and their love for everything Brian Ching.

Hopefully Cooper scored 10 goals against Haiti.

I’ll be back later with some player ratings.

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3 Responses

  1. Good performances from Tino (told ya!), Davies, Beckerman (eh, maybe not GREAT, but very good), and Feilhaber. Rogers was a bit disappointing, but he had his hands full on that left side and did pretty well, given the circumstances. The CBs gave me no confidence whatsoever. This pairing against a better team would have given up more than one goal tonight. I hate to say it, because this is the pairing I called for all along, but maybe Conrad deserves a look against Haiti (though I really think Bradley should let Parkhurst start in front of his family, friends, and old fans from his days with the Revs). Perkins was solid. Ching was a waste, Cooper looked good. Pause was also a waste, and his replacement also looked good. Benny and Davies injected energy into the lifeless US squad. I would have liked to see Davies for Ching, but it worked out well as Bradley called it.

    Credit Honduras; they came to play! They gave us a lot of trouble, but we battled through it and came out with a win courtesy of Tino’s great strike off a world class setup and off of Ching’s header (er, that is, shoulderer).

  2. According to someone I know over at KC, Conrad is nursing a groin injury.
    Goodson also has an injury.

  3. Yes, there was a clear difference of our level of play when Davies came in. Individually I thought Beckerman stepped up his play after the subs were made.

    Once we got that goal we took all the momentum and ran with it.

    I was very frustrated before the first goal came. We looked slow. I didn’t think we were passing well. We were not executing chances we were given – but nither were they. Hope Adu gets a lot of playing time at Benifica.

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