What the hell happened yesterday?

Did we actually beat Spain yesterday or was it merely a flu and fever induced hallucination I suffered while shivering despite 90 degree temperatures outside?

We did beat Spain? I actually watched it?


Double wow.

Holy ********ing shit wow!

So where on earth does that leave the US now? Where does that leave the Fire Bradley movement now? Where does that leave the future of human existence now?

While I can’t answer that final question, here’s what I think I learned yesterday.

  • Can we now safely say that the biggest problem with this generation of USMNT players is a mental one? I have never seen a team made up of pros be capable of a larger range of performance just based on their own self-confidence. I’ve seen high school teams behave like this, but never grown adults. How does a team go from being terrified against Brazil to darn-near brilliant against Spain. Was it really the criticism? Did it really take the entirety of the American soccer community pointing and screaming “wussies!” at them to build their confidence? I know that lots of folks scoffed at Michael Bradley when he played the “no one believed in us” card after the Egypt match, but what if it was exactly that?
  • Onyewu, Howard and Donovan had the matches of their lives yesterday with Demerit not far behind. Donovan was outstanding, with his biggest mistake, cutting the ball back rather than shooting, leading directly to the second goal. Gooch was outstanding, minimizing players getting behind him and rarely making mistakes in terms of clearances or positioning.
  • So maybe I have been a bit harsh about Adu not seeing enough playing time, but allow me to begin flying the flag for Feilhaber to start any and every match the US plays. The run he made that led to the second goal was simply outstanding.
  • Archer is right (I know, I know) that this match provides a bit of vindication for everyone (except for Beasley himself) and really turns Sunday’s final most likely against Brazil into a match where the US has very little to lose (they’ve already beaten Spain) and have a score to settle (Brazil embarrassed them already). That’s a very dangerous combination.
  • Anything other than a 10-0 loss in the final sends this group of players into the Mexico City qualifier feeling quite literally on top of the world.
  • Wasn’t it amazing yesterday to see the US finally get some luck and some bounces with the usual exception of the undeserved red card? How often has it felt like the US never benefited from those kind of bounces against non-Concacaf teams?
  • Anyone else hear Harksie giggling into the mic after the second goal went in?

I’ll have more after I watch the replay.


16 thoughts on “What the hell happened yesterday?

  1. I’d like to see Benny on the right and Dempsey up top with Jozy or Ching. Then Davies can be a late sub if you’re down one and need some pace. Dempsey is just a better player up top, and I think Benny can fill that right side role pretty capably. A middle of Bradley (what a horrid call on the red card, barely a yellow if that) and Edu sounds good to me.

    My major concern with Bradley wasn’t lineups (as much as I’d like to see Freddy, I’d also be concerned about putting him out there with a makeshift backline and your best D-mid out), it was that the team wasn’t playing with poise, confidence or discipline. The job of a manager is to at least get your team to have those attributes, and it was starting to become clear that Bob, despite his best efforts, couldn’t do that. The real test, now, will be to see if this continues.

  2. Harkes giggling into his mic was the moment of the match for me. It had been a pretty crappy day and even the joy of Jozy’s goal was short lived, but that moment after Dempsey got his goal , that giggle reflected my thoughts about the situation. I can see him closing his eyes and telling himself to suck it up and earn his money.

  3. I think he giggled for the first goal, too. You could hear his chair squeaking. Probably jumped up like I did.

  4. Yeah,he giggled after both goals.

    I am calling BS on his 1-0 US prediction that he said he made in the pregame broadcast meeting

  5. haha i watched it and WOW!! before this game alot was said by other federations about CONCACAF and how its a shit federation when its Big teams cant even compete with the Other Federations.. but now weve seen Mexico beat Brazil time and time again in official tournaments.. and NOW the US beat Spain in an Official Tournament the Stage is SET the US can play and and win against Brazil i tip my hat to the US for being a great representative of the CONCACAF this reminds me of Mexicos Confederations final against Brazil a while back.. lets see what happens this time Same stage Same team but now a new Representative from CONCACAF i want to see what team USA can do.(well more that is) yuve allready beaten Spain.. by the way i posted a rather comic spin on this same topic like 5 minutes ago read it for a good laugh haha

  6. I’ll play devil’s advocate. Benny’s no kind of right mid, at least not for 90 minutes. Don’t think he has the wheels, maybe not the endurance, and probably not the tenacity for it.

    But if we were to play him centrally, he’s more the organizer than the destroyer, which means Bradley would be the destroyer (if they played together), which would take him out of his game that worked so well against Egypt. The beauty of playing Bradley in front of a destroyer is that he can be a second one, or a box-to-box sniper depending on what the opponent has in store for us that day.

  7. Haha! I love how Senor Fighting Talker himself glosses over Dempsey in his list of “shout-outs” there…but let’s be honest, the guy has an ability to get things done up front. Oh sure, that second goal was “luck” — right? Yea, and so was the only US goal scored in the last WC…

    Heck, maybe it’s time to start swapping high-skilled, in-shape dribbling fairy dancers for more guys willing to play with a broken jaw…

  8. longhorn, the problem with Dempsey was that he was absolutely exhausted from the end of the Premiership season. He has inspired no one in the 4 games we’ve played in this competition, even though he’s scored two goals. Yes, they were great strikes (the header was pure class, and the one against Spain showed his ability to take advantage of other teams’ blunders), but otherwise, he’s spent most of the tournament looking listless, unmotivated, and frankly, stoned.

  9. FIRE BRADLEY!!!(not really but apparently it gets the boys ready for games that the USMNT shouldn’t win)

  10. I was thinking about this after the win against Spain and I think part of the US’ frustration on the world stage is the stark contrast between their reputation in CONCACAF and their reputation globally.

    When playing against CONCACAF teams, the US knows they are the superior team. I think this may lead them to be a bit compliacent, knowing that if they go down a goal, they can push hard and usually get back into the game.

    Unfortunately, the majority of the opponents the US faces are from CONCACAF, so it’s difficult for the players to change their mindset from thinking they can walk through the game.

    I think Spain got a taste of it during the tournament… 3 week opponents, the 1 stronger opponent. Spain was clearly the better team on the field yesterday, but by the time they went a goal down, it was too late for them to get back into it.

  11. HA! Wishful thinking. It’ll be the same lineup with Feilhaber or Kljestan (SHOOT ME) in for Bradley. I’d love to see one of them come off the bench, but…

    Bobo wouldn’t love that at all. So we’re stuck with the same group of players. Hope no Beasley though.

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