This was much much better from the US!
There was some intent to build an attack instead of firing cannonballs up field.
Now for some context and conclusions:
1) The obvious one.
This was not Argentina. Nor was it against a Uruguay, Colombia, Mexico, or any team whose style is to keep the ball. This was against the South American Italy. A team notorious for having one of the world’s most organized and stingiest defenses.
But this doesn’t take away from the US at least having some intent to hold the ball a bit more. For that, I give a thumbs up. In the 88th minute I think I saw the best US sequence ever. I actually smiled and said out loud: “There you go”. These are the types of sequences that should be applauded and encouraged. It doesn’t matter that it ended up in nothing! And please don’t make the mistake of thinking Bradley had anything to do with this.
2) Tim Ream instead of Onyewu.
This change needs to be made permanent! Not that Ream is some international quality player, but he is light years ahead of Onyewu, Demerit, or god forbid Omar Gonzalez. If Gooch were to have played, all that structure from the back would have vanished, and we would have been coughing the ball up as usual. One player does make a difference – especially when it’s part of the spinal column of the team.
3) Agudelo is light years ahead of Altidore.
This change must also be made permanent! Aside from having proper technique, he’s smarter than your average US player. He makes the right decisions – when to go forward and when to keep the bloody ball! With him and Ream as the offensive and defensive focal points, respectively, the team is at a higher level. What a difference just 2 guys with the “right qualities” in the right positions can make.
4) Chandler? C’mon people really?
It seems everyone is all happy about this Chandler fellow. Let’s not get carried away please. This has Marvell Wynne part 2 written all over it. Make no mistake, Chandler is being given a shot because of his physical attributes. Looks like this is another one-trick pony. That is, use his speed and strength to go forward, forward, forward, then serve aerial crosses. Technical, intelligent play? Hmmm … Well, I’m not going to sentence him yet, but all he’s showed thus far is one dimensional. What a shocker that Bob and the fans are delighted.
5) What’s Missing?
As far as personnel, this game was a perfect example of why we need an “enganche”. For those that might not be familiar with the term, an enganche is essentially a #10. A creative, intelligent and technical maestro as the center attacking midfielder. A Sneider, a Xavi, a Riquelme, you get the idea. Someone capable of unlocking defenses with a touch of magic. But Bob prefers to fill that roster spot with someone with holding midfielder qualities. So Maurice Edu’s and Jermaine Jones types, instead of Fielhaber’s, Torres’, or even Donovan’s.
Overall, fans should be much happier about this loss than the tie against Argentina. Interesting, isn’t it?
p.s. Bornstein should not be anywhere near the National Team.