SUN, 11AM ET
WBA4
BUR0
MON, 3PM ET
STO1
NEW0
TUES, 2:45PM ET
MCFC1
ROM1
TUES, 2:45PM ET
SCP0
CFC1
WED, 2:45PM ET
ARS4
GAL1
WED, 2:45PM ET
BAS1
LFC0

Copa Washout

Soccer can be a cruel game. For over sixty minutes our US National Team boys looked lively and more energetic than the favored Argentines. In fact I would venture to say we looked like the better team. However, tired legs and inexperience caught up with the USA and we succumbed to a 4-1 defeat. Watching the game at my newly adopted futbol home in Cozumel, the patrons and owners were pulling for the US largely because of me. It’s too bad we were so outclassed late in the match. I found it interesting that the waiter simply assumed that without Landon Donovan, a single player the US would get smoked out of the Copa, whereas if he were playing the US would be a threat to win the event. Such is the high respect Mexican fans have for the #10 they call the “Mexicutioner.”

I would say the most disappointing aspect of the match for me was how out of position our central defenders, Jimmy Conrad and Jay DeMerit seemed to be on multiple occasions. DeMerit looked completely outclassed which is especially unfortunate considering he seems to be everybody’s favorite player these days, the guy we want to see do well. Secondly, I’m still curious about why Coach Bradley decided to pull Benny Olsen who seemed to be outworking Cambiasso and Riquelme in the midfield for Eddie Gaven, whose career has been a complete washout to this point. Bob Bradley has pushed all the right buttons this year with the national team, but this particular substitution was probably his worst moment. Even if Olsen was tiring which didn’t seem to be the case, you are subbing a World Cup veteran whose versatility is among the best in the US player pool for a low energy player who doesn’t position himself properly. Now if Olsen really was spent, I think Kyle Beckerman could have come in to the match and done a much better job than Gaven. Come to think of it, I have no clue whatsoever why Coach Bradley selected Gavin for the squad to begin with.

Our attack was very limited. Justin Mapp and Ben Olsen provided some good energy and runs, but the forwards were once again absent. Eddie Johnson did well to draw a penalty and coolly finished the goal, but otherwise his reluctance to take guys on is mind boggling. Going into last year’s World Cup, Bruce Arena made the same observation publically about EJ, yet Johnson still hasn’t changed his mentality out there. Taylor Twellman once again provided little if anything, but the more I think about it we are for the foreseeable future stuck with there guys in the attack. I was pleased with the sense of positioning and quality runs Marvell Wynne provided. Like Gaven, I thought the selection of Wynne for Copa was questionable, but his effort last night provided otherwise.

I’ll be back stateside for the Paraguay match and hope we can learn from what went wrong late in the match last night.

This entry was posted in Copa America, Leagues: Major League Soccer. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kartik Krishnaiyer

A lifelong lover of soccer, the beautiful game, he served from January 2010 until May 2013 as the Director of Communications and Public Relations for the North American Soccer League (NASL). Raised on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the old NASL, Krishnaiyer previously hosted the American Soccer Show on the Champions Soccer Radio Network, the Major League Soccer Talk podcast and the EPL Talk Podcast. His soccer writing has been featured by several media outlets including The Guardian and The Telegraph. He is the author of the book Blue With Envy about Manchester City FC.
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4 Responses to Copa Washout

  1. RUScoachjoe says:

    I also think the U.S. was experimenting with other players. I for one take the glass is half full approach and say that the not quite “A” team played with among the world's best for some time. I am very impressed with some of the younger players such as Benny Feilhaber. One game does not a team make. I am glad to see that Coach Bradley is trying other players in international competitions against quality teams.

  2. RUScoachjoe says:

    I also think the U.S. was experimenting with other players. I for one take the glass is half full approach and say that the not quite “A” team played with among the world’s best for some time. I am very impressed with some of the younger players such as Benny Feilhaber. One game does not a team make. I am glad to see that Coach Bradley is trying other players in international competitions against quality teams.

  3. Joe Ginto says:

    I believe we are really, really missing Chris Rolfe or even Kenny Cooper up top. Taylor Twellman, for all his running and his tight shirts, is just absolutely rubbish as a striker.

  4. Joe Ginto says:

    I believe we are really, really missing Chris Rolfe or even Kenny Cooper up top. Taylor Twellman, for all his running and his tight shirts, is just absolutely rubbish as a striker.

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