Thursday, June 4, 2009

Costa Rica 3, US Men's Nat'l Team 1

The US was completely outplayed last night in their world cup qualifier, losing 3-1 at Costa Rica. Reza and Scott Bush were texting me throughout; here's my reaction this am. here's some good analysis at soccernet, including grades of our players to give you an idea of just how bad we were.

(note; this is really esoteric soccer analysis and you may not even know half our starters... but here goes):

- Why in the F is Beasley playing at left back? He constantly gave the ball away, he was directly responsible for the first goal, he never did anything positive in the match, and last time I checked Beasley is a MIDFIELDER@!

- the game was over inside of 2 minutes. When they scored that goal I said to heather, "game's over, we might as well go to sleep." Insult to injury in the 12th minute. Both backs got exposed early.

- Why couldn't our players handle simple tasks, like passing to feet without bouncing the ball all over the place? Donovan had the touch of a guy made out of bricks. I watched the US team at one point muff an un-contested throw-in; the thrower flung the ball at his teammate from 10 feat, it hit him at mid-theigh and bounced no less t han 10 feet away. These are professionals right??

- I'm sure Onyeuwy and Bocanegra are really nice guys, but they're not the answer. There's a reason they're playing in a mid-talbe French team and in Belgium, and not in a major european league. Its because they're slow, they're easily beaten and their only advantage is girth. Where was Bocanegra on the 2nd goal?? They gave up a wide open shot to a f-ing defensive midfielder!

- Our midfield was abhorrent. Mastraeoni and Torres did ole's on the first goal and were missing the entire game. No surprise they were the first two guys replaced. Bradley's kid is a good player, but has he EVER PLAYED a game for the Us team where he didn't manage to get a yellow card? I mean really. I hate donovan, his stupid antics taking penalties, and his inability to control games in tough conditions. I watched him on a breakaway down the middle of the pitch and he couldn't even come close to going around a clumnsy challenge from the Costa rican defensive mid. And this is our "world class" superstar??

- hard to judge our forwards with the poor service they got.

- costa rica pressured us constantly, and looked like they had more energy the entire night.

Last but not least:
- We need a new coach, with new ideas and the balls to play the right players on the pitch. We have players who start in the toughest two leages in the world (English Premier and English 2nd division) who can't even get a sniff of the starting lineup. Meanwhile half the team are MLS players, which by all accounts is about the 15th strongest league worldwide. Its obvious we need a coach who can teach midfield play, find a playmaker out of this bunch, and trust himself to select the right players.

Enough bs about pundits talking about how we need a coach who "understands the US soccer system." BS. The national team coach is about selecting the right 11 guys, giving them tactics and a plan, and teaching them how to go into tough situations against tough opponents and get the draw. We have dozens of guys playing in tough leagues outside the US getting invaluable experience and its time to get a pedigree'd coach.

Bottom line; the USA still qualifies for South Africa, but stands to get pummeled yet again in the face of better European competition.

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