1. Watched the game at El Torito (hey it was taco Tuesday). An American fan, who was surely several tequila shots deep, comes up to us around the 80th minute and says:
“This is embarrasing. I can get 11 of us in here to play better.”
We couldn’t stop laughing … a US fan with the right attitude!
2. I don’t blame the players! At times, I feel sorry for them. They are the victims of poor training and coaching.
3. Imagine building your entire national team by selecting players only from Irvine and Anaheim! How could that be competitive with someone whose pool is the entire country?
4. Does Bob Bradley know what an enganche is?
5. Obviously it could and should have been 3 or 4 zero. The US is far superior, and I’m not going to pretend Guadeloupe is even remotely close. But these things happen (see Confederations Cup US vs Spain). And yes, the separations between these pairings are comparable.
6. Dempsey’s greatest choke – you know the 2-yard sitter – was due to arrogance. Players know exactly his feelings and what was going through his mind. Not that I have a problem with it, it shows he has flavor and swag at that level (ie not a robot). Just wanted to share in case someone didn’t catch that.
7. Several things on Wondolowski:
* At least it seemed like the guy tried to pressure the ball a little bit (more than I can say for Altidore). But that’s about it.
* He’s the typical American robot – no imagination, no fluidity, no flavor.
* He’s yet another piece of evidence pointing to player selection based on stats. Numbers are only half the story. Plus domestic league performance, especially in MLS, is not an indicator of international capacity. This guy should be nowhere near our national team! But what else is new?
It bothers me. It really bothers me.
If I were the NT coach, here’s how a Wondolowski discussion would transpire with my staff:
Gary – Alright guys, time to nail down the roster. We’ve got the core, and we’ve poured over thousands of players the last 5 years. Who has a sparkle of quality we might want to give a serious opportunity to? Who’s the gem? Who’s the gem we’re failing to clearly see? Let’s debate. Hey John [Assistant #2], get ready to pull up film of the guys we come up with. I’ve got my ideas, but I want to hear everyone’s thoughts.
Assistant #1 – Well, this Wondolowski guy is scoring lots of goals …
Assistant #2 – Oh, oh, give me a second. I’ve got his film right here!
Gary – WTF?!?
[Entire Staff busts out laughing]
Assistant #3 – We’re just kidding man.
Gary – Whew … I thought I was gonna have to fire somebody.
8. It does not matter. Not the Panama game, not this game, not any game. We can’t tell the nuanced differences between a $100 bottle of wine and a $15 one. And I’m talking everything, not just players.
George Deverrick says
“He’s the typical American robot – no imagination, no fluidity, no flavor.” – So I guess we can expect Bradley to bring Casey back into the fold then…
Good lord, when will this nightmare end (on Sunday vs. Jamaica perhaps?)
Gary Kleiban says
Wouldn’t surprise me. Or maybe Brian Ching.
If it’s junk, you can bet your ass it’s being considered.
we sit here talking about “no imagination, no fluidity, no flavor” and where are we going to go to find the next generation of American “stars”? The burbs. Meanwhile two most “creative” players on the squad –Dempsey and Agudelo– play with that, shall we say, Latin flare. The folklore with Dempsey is he grew up in a trailer park, playing with Mexican immigrants. Agudelo is of Hispanic origin. The US needs to tap that huge Latin and African (meaning African immigrants not African-Americans) who play the game in the parks everyday. When I lived in Boston, you could go to East Boston and see the Columbians, Salvadorians, Cubans, and Cape Verdeans playing in the snow. Time to look into these markets to find American “stars”, which I guess is the good thing about MLS academies.
Gary Kleiban says
That’s right Abram!
Unfortunately, a coach that understands and knows how to leverage “flavor” is required. In other words, you need a manager who himself as a player had flavor, was mentored by flavor, and as a result knows how to implement a system with tactics that have flavor.
Bob Bradley and all his US Soccer clones only understand “robots”. They were themselves robots, were coached by robots, and as a result only know how to implement a system with mindless robotic tactics (which pretty much means no tactics).
George Deverrick says
Robots indeed. If you’ve ever taken a USSF licensing course, automation is the key to success.
And look what its producing…..