While it certainly would have been different with the 1st team, I view this performance (a 1-3 loss) as a further indictment of Bradley:
- He doesn’t know what a “true quality” player is.
- He simply has no tactical understanding.
On the first point, does he mean to tell me these “second string” players are the best we have in the entire country? No way man, this country has much better to offer!
On the second point, he can’t even compete with a soccer “minnow” at home. As with all the USMNT games, he just throws 11 on the pitch and hopes for the best. His coaching instruction isn’t much more than saying “work hard guys”. There is no style, no identity, no detailed tactical roles for each player. It’s all individual play!
We’ve witnessed his training sessions at the HDC since he took over, including 3 times this month. We’ve heard what comes out of his mouth, and we witnessed the quality of these players.
On one hand, this showing pisses me off to no end! On the other, I try to be optimistic that these types of performances expose him – and indirectly our federation – as incompetent.
But alas, this is only clear to a handful …
The Tsunami of Excuses Start Rolling In
Gee, what a surprise. Many American fans, reporters, commentators, bloggers just can’t help themselves but to excuse their team and coach.
- Downplaying the importance or significance of the match.
Um, I’m sure each one of these players would disagree with you. But I know, I know, the spirit of the excuse is actually to brush aside the result as meaningless – it has no bearing on what our showing at the World Cup will be. Wrong! Although these aren’t the starting WC players, this will be the coach. And this is a direct exposure to not only his judgement of talent, but his tactical understanding (or lack thereof).
- Red card & the game is over.
Really? Yes it hurts like a bitch, but it certainly can be manageable. For starters you would expect to see a reaction and different attitude from our players, now being down to 10 men. How about showing some balls and working twice as hard? That didn’t happen! How about the team showing something tactically new, huh Bradley? Nope.
By contrast, a day later Inter had to play with a man down for 60 minutes against AC Milan. Morinho and his team not only held AC Milan scoreless, but tagged on an additional goal.
Or how about our very own US holding down the fort down a man for 45 minutes against none other than eventual World Cup champs Italy (not Honduras @ home in case you’re wondering) in 2006 WC?
This isn’t an impossible task. And even if you don’t win in the end, you can at least have a respectable showing. Weak excuse for weak people!
- Poor referee.
Please. The PK and attached yellow card was warranted. Of all things, if he missed anything important it was calling a foul on the US goal. I hear crickets about that by the way – nobody’s saying a word. How 1st grade of you to go with this excuse!
- This was our B-team, so who cares.
Are you serious? If you truly feel this way, you’re a prime example of what’s wrong with soccer in this country. Yeah, I’d like to hear that one come out of a fan’s mouth – or an analyst – from a true soccer nation! And by the way, that wasn’t Hondura’s 1st team either …
- The guys are not in form. They’ve been on break from the MLS season.
Sweetheart, we were playing against a half-strength Honduras team. Having a multi-week concentration at the HDC should not only be enough time to get match-fit, but for a coach to implement some semblance of tactical structure. What our guys showed was not lack of form, this is their form!
Stop with the spin, and make a real effort to gain some insight. Excuses are not insight. These things are not what you should be taking away from matches. This is not proper analysis. Neither is simply saying; “Our players suck”. When a team loses, it’s not always because your players are less talented. That’s way too shallow and doesn’t strike at the heart of the problem:
Your dear Bob Bradley!