Still mad, just clarifying

Don’t get me wrong, I am still pissed as hell at the US, but let me clarify some things here.

I am well aware that many if not most of our players are simply not good enough to allow for us to compete with truly good teams. Trust me, I get it. This brings me to my next point.

What infuriates me most is that Bradley’s US team appears to be an accountability-free zone. It takes months and months of outright terrible play for a guy like Mastroeni to get replaced. We’re seeing the same mistake getting made right now with Dempsey and obviously with Beasley. Of course, on paper, Dempsey and Beasley should start every match, but Dempsey and Beasley haven’t put in a truly good performance for the USA in many months. Even if the player beneath them in the depth chart (Adu or Torres) isn’t as good as the starter is, you have to make a change (or at least make the players think you will) if the level of play out of the starters doesn’t improve.

Of course Freddy and Torres aren’t panaceas, I am not suggesting they are. But they are talented enough to at least provide a challenge and a threat to Dempsey’s and/or Beasley’s spot in the lineup. Just like Spector and Demerit should’ve been challenging our defensive starters for a long time now. By sticking by his favorites, no matter what the situation either pre-match or during a match, I think Bradley has bred complacency amongst many players in our team.

In the old days, with our past generation of players like Reyna, Ramos, Stewart, Dooley etc., I think a very cemented starting XI was okay because those players didn’t fall prey to complacency. It just wasn’t in their character. That isn’t to say our current players are lazy bastards. They just have a different (and more common) temperament. Our current players need to be challenged. They need to fear that if they don’t perform that they will sit or maybe even miss out on a selection or two.

None of what I said above is new, or even very controversial. Simply put, I think many of our players no longer fear for their spot on the US team. Really, only Howard and MAYBE Donovan can afford to feel that way. Bradley needs to realize treating our usual starting XI as mortal locks only hurts them, and will utterly destroy what ability he has to push better performances out of his players.

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10 thoughts on “Still mad, just clarifying

  1. Right on patrol. The cast of usual suspects aren’t getting it done. I can come up with 8-12 players that can fill the rolls of the “immortals” and get beat 3-1 versus Italy. We play not to get beat in many cases not to win.

  2. A much more level-headed blog entry. I suggest you give it a day after losses like this one, to give yourself a little time to cool.

    I’m beginning to think maybe our best situation in this tournament may be losing to Brazil, so we can get an “experimental” lineup out there against Egypt. (In other words, the guys who should be playing: Torres, Adu, etc.

  3. I think that this makes sense, but then you have to allow for the possibility that some who have looked good at times, bad at times, might also rate opportunities to push the favorites. So if Bradley puts in Kljestan rather than Torres, by the logic above, this should be just fine – both have had rather limited opportunities, shown hot and cold, and will pressure the “starter” (in this case, Beasley/Dempsey).

    Feilhaber’s presence, in many ways in place of Beasley (he pushed Donovan to RM and therefore Dempsey to LM, and Da Beez to the bench), would already seem to be a step in this direction.

    If OTOH you continue to advocate for Adu and Torres but be dissatisfied with Feilhaber and Kljestan as the options to push the usual starters, it’s harder to credibly read that as about complacency, rather than advocacy for our two technically skilled, slight-as-a-bird left footed players. Which may be fine in its own right, but should be openly advertised as so.

  4. I actually have no beef with Feilhaber. My only beef with Sasha is that he is being inserted when down a goal. The beef isn’t with Sasha, it’s with the substitution.

  5. Well, in this calendar year, Kljestan has had an international hat trick. It was against a team that would have had trouble beating the Sonoma County Sol, but still, he was wearing a US shirt and had US teammates. Dude has a gun, he just needs time on the firing range.

    I’ll probably say this more than once in the coming months, but this team goes exactly as far as Landon Donovan takes them, and not one step farther.

  6. Ugh. Sorry. Don’t know what game some of you guys were watching, but Feilhaber didn’t belong on the field (apart from one brilliant pass that looked so bad when he hit it it seemed like a whiff) and Klejstan basically had one set piece-type opportunity from a layoff that he didn’t even put on frame. Bob should’ve subbed Benny 10-15 minutes earlier, if not at the half. Otherwise, not much to say about this one.

  7. Yeah, but what did Sasha add besides one shot?

    None of us know how good Adu is. And that’s the problem…and where the favoritism comes into play.

    Bradley is treating the squad like a So Cal club team. Sasha isn’t even producing for Chivas USA right now. As for Beasley, anyone remember the last time he dribbled by someone?

  8. i appreciate beasely starting on the bench, and i feel that it’s tough to judge sasha because he was only onfor the last few minutes, but BB definately needs to put some new faces on the pitch. there’s only a year left before the world cup, not a that much time to see new players

  9. I’m reaching into the BigSoccer Blog wayback machine for this one, but I forgot it earlier:

    I don’t really believe this, because for the members of the “94 generation” that still applied, I thought I detected plenty of complacency both when they hit MLS in 96, and in WC98. I think for ’94, complacency was kind of out of the question because of the once-in-a-lifetime nature of that competition. First, even getting into the WC was still pretty exotic then (our previous appearance was the first in 40 years, and we had nothing like the attitude to qualifying then that we do now), and then of course we were hosting it, which who knew when that would happen again but certainly not within most of their careers.

    I tend to kinda think that once complacency became possible for us, it pretty much crept in.

  10. I’m reaching into the BigSoccer Blog wayback machine for this one, but I forgot it earlier:

    I don’t really believe this, because for the members of the “94 generation” that still applied, I thought I detected plenty of complacency both when they hit MLS in 96, and in WC98. I think for ’94, complacency was kind of out of the question because of the once-in-a-lifetime nature of that competition. First, even getting into the WC was still pretty exotic then (our previous appearance was the first in 40 years, and we had nothing like the attitude to qualifying then that we do now), and then of course we were hosting it, which who knew when that would happen again but certainly not within most of their careers.

    I tend to kinda think that once complacency became possible for us, it pretty much crept in.

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