Ed beat me to the punch of most of my thoughts on tonight’s debacle, but let me add a few thoughts.
- This is the first time where I really thought Bob Bradley was outcoached entirely. Playing in that environment, on this field, you don’t get experimental, and you don’t thin out your midfield. What you do is slop it out for 90 minutes and one point. Instead, Bradley got just about everything wrong. Beasley is not an outside back against all but the worst teams in Concacaf. Wynne is a complete and utter disaster, like a bigger, less-skilled Dane Richards. Against a team that they knew could develop danger from the flanks, starting these two was absolutely criminal on Bradley’s part.
- Clint Dempsey was completely and utterly invisible. I liked how Bradley appeared to give him the cold shoulder as Dempsey sulked off in the 2nd half. You would’ve hardly known he was on the field tonight.
- If you thought the center of the US midfield looked scary tonight, wait until you see Saturday’s likely starting combo of Pablo Mastroeni and Rico Clark. Oy.
- Everyone on the defense was bad and to blame for at least one goal. Where exactly did Gooch think he was going before the second goal as he careen towards the far sideline?
- Pounding the ball at Jozy to post up at the top of the area does not an offense make. If they want a target forward in lieu of Ching, they either need to call up Cooper or, and this makes even more sense when you read the next bullet, throw themselves at Brian McBride and beg him to come back, if only briefly. If they are not going to have a tall aerial threat in the area, than they need to stop all the aimless crosses and long throw-ins that are inevatably cleared.
- Now the US its first real “pressure” qualifier in who knows how long. One of my big fears is that this group of players currently lacks a real character guy to lead and organize these guys when things go south. Where before it was Dooley and Jones, and then it was McBride, Stewart and Olsen, who is it amongst this group do you trust to calm the ranks and get them marching the right direction?
- Freddy Adu was by far the best and most composed attacking player we saw tonight for the US. I know lots of folks out there hate is guts, but I am not sure how much more (beyond scoring) he could’ve done to get in the starting lineup against Honduras. Try and convince me that he shouldn’t replace Dempsey on Saturday.