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Bob Bradley’s Tactics: Inconsistent and Inexplicable (UPDATED WITH NEW CONTENT)

bradley533 300x233 Bob Bradleys Tactics: Inconsistent and Inexplicable (UPDATED WITH NEW CONTENT)

Two week ago I authored an article about the evolution of US tactics since Steve Sampson’s days.

Since that article, Bob Bradley has switched his tactical setup for two consecutive matches while continuing his incredibly consistent and predictable squad selection.

Bradley went from the empty bucket 4-4-2 against Honduras to a 4-5-1 with essentially three holding midfielders against Italy. The former formation allowed Honduras, without its two best midfielders to dominate the early play and exploit huge gaps in the American midfield early in the match. The latter formation allowed the US to dictate much of the early play against Italy, but the Azzuri are notoriously slow starters in international matches often times absorbing pressure for 20-25 minutes before really starting to take chances going forward.

When your manager continues to make tactical changes between matches (but rarely during matches something that will be addressed later), players have to rediscover what their role in a particular setup is. Bruce Arena famously in 2002 changed formations, tactics and the squad in every World Cup match using all but one eligible field player in the tournament. But Arena had previously tested each of the tactical alignments in friendlies- in fact the US’ sluggish form entering the 2002 World Cup could have been easily attributed to experimentation with lineups in friendly tune ups.

But Bradley unlike Arena has not tested his changes except perhaps in training and has left many players wondering what their role is. Beyond this, some players are made a scapegoat for mistakes like Jose Francisco Torres was for the first Costa Rican goals two weeks ago, while others like DaMarcus Beasley and Carlos Bocanegra can make fatal mistakes and continue to be selected. In fact it can be strongly argued that Torres was out of position because Beasley playing left back was thought to be releasing a through ball up the left flank to Torres, not playing a clumsy clearance that was intercepted which left Torres and the rest of the US team woefully out of position.

It’s no small irony that Torres came from completely outside the USSF youth development system while Beasley and Bocanegra have been within the system for ten plus years and both played for Bradley at the club level.

As inconsistent as Bradley’s tactics have been from match to match in recent weeks, his inability to make the proper tactical changes during a match have been exposed both against Costa Rica and Italy.

Even the much maligned Steve Sampson made quick tactical and formation changes after a devastating red card on the road years ago. In 1997, Sampson absorbed an early red card to left back Jeff Agoos and tucked his midfield into a compact shape that allowed the US to get its first ever point at Azteca Stadium.

Monday, with a one goal lead at halftime despite being a man down, Bradley attacked from the start of the second half, looking for a second goal which wasn’t going to come. In keeping his players in roughly the same position but playing without a defensive midfielder that was sent off, Bradley allowed Marcello Lippi to make two critical substitutions and give Andreas Pirlo a freer role to exploit the incredible amount of space that had opened up in the American midfield.

The American team played with an incredible amount of heart and spunk even after falling down a man. But the side was completely spent after expending a ridiculous amount of energy trying to chase a second goal while leading the world champions. Given the smallish and narrow pitch, it was easier to defend with ten men than under normal circumstances, and could have been easily achieved with the right tactical changes.

As Jamie Trecker pointed out on monday’s MLS Talk Postgame show, the US players did not know whether they were to try and hold the ball or fling the ball forward. Different players had different interpretations of what to do and the confusion led countless giveaways and subsequent Italian goal scoring chances.

Bob Bradley’s squad selections have been questionable now for years, but as time goes on, his tactics are becoming even more mind boggling and inconsistent. From defending deep against a Honduran team without its two best players at home; to attacking the world champions away from home down a man and up a goal, nothing can explain Bradley’s tactical thinking other than that it changes from game to game with very little in game changes that are dictated by the developing scenarios of a match.

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UPDATE (A suggestion for Bob Bradley)

Since the US needs to develop more possession play and attack down the flanks here is a tactical formation that should be tried not just against Brazil but long term heading into a World Cup.

4-1-2-2-1 (not a countdown but a tactical setup)

For the Brazil game the setup would look like this:

Howard

Spector-DeMerit-Onyewu-Bornstein

…………..Bradley………………

Dempsey…………………Torres

………..Donovan…..Adu………..

…………….Altidore…………….

UPDATE (A suggestion for Bob Bradley)

Since the US needs to develop more possession play and attack down the flanks here is a tactical formation that should be tried not just against Brazil but long term heading into a World Cup.

4-1-2-2-1 (not a countdown but a tactical setup)

For the Brazil game the setup would look like this:

Howard

Spector-DeMerit-Onyewu-Bornstein

…………..Bradley………………

Dempsey…………………Torres

………..Donovan…..Adu………..

…………….Altidore…………….

For the later qualifiers the setup would look like this:

Howard

Hejduk-Spector-Onyewu-Bornstein

……………..Jones………………..

Feilhaber…………………Torres…

………Dempsey….Donovan……..

……………..Ching……………….

Key subs: Bradley, Adu, Cooper, Cherundolo, Edu, Altidore

For the World Cup the setup could look like this:

Howard

Hejduk-Spector-Onyewu-Bornstein*

………………Jones………………

Dempsey…………………..Torres..

………Donovan……..Adu……….

…………….Altidore………………

Key subs: Bradley, Cooper, Cherdundolo, Ching, Edu, Feilhaber

(*unless E. Castillo decides to file with FIFA to switch to USA)

I’m not necessarily married to this formation but feel the US have to develop more consistent possession play and take advantage of our speed outside to have any remote chance to advance from the group stage in next year’s World Cup. So now is the time to implement the change, not in April as Steve Sampson did in 1998.

This entry was posted in Bob Bradley, Leagues: Major League Soccer, US National Team. 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.
View all posts by Kartik Krishnaiyer →

36 Responses to Bob Bradley’s Tactics: Inconsistent and Inexplicable (UPDATED WITH NEW CONTENT)

  1. Kartik says:

    In my usual postmatch neagative remark (although they are usually facts), I was ready to say that Italy were slow starters, and I would like to see how Bob would handle three straight tough games, managing the physical side, and showing he could give players a break when needed (like Michael, who gets gassed at the end of games and if he starts all three, we know for sure Bob can’t handle the WC squad management). You’re absolutely right in all your points, and sadly, I WOULD PREFER BRUCE ARENA RIGHT NOW. It boggles my mind how Bob and US youth soccer’s favorites have to play one good game for their club and they get starts, while “outsiders” (aka better players) work their ass off season after season and get rewarded with bench spots-or not even that if you’re Jose Torres.

  2. adam says:

    kk you write alot of crap but this is a genius piece. nobody points out the lack of tactical adjustments nor the small pitch all of which were obvious to the trained football eye. this is one of your best pieces and i’m 100% in agreement.

  3. Louis says:

    I cannot believe I am about to say this because I have for years advocated MLS playing second fiddle to the USMNT because of the nature of this country and the fact that anything that happens to grow the sport will need to be done thru the nats, but go out and support MLS, support USL, support your local amateur side but do not watch or write about this stinking team as long as they continue to hire second rate american coaches. It’s the only way Gulati and the suits will learn.

  4. Karl says:

    I keep coming to this site despite the horrible grammar and hyperbole because of cognizant points like you’ve made the last few weeks.

    Kartik Krishnaiyer was the only US blogger/journalist to frequently point out correctly that Honduras was missing DeLeon and Suazo their two best players arguably for the game versus the US. The geniuses like Goff, Ives, etc all seemed to miss that point.

    Additionally, you are the only blogger who has continued to point out the narrow pitch sizes and how it affects Italian teams, an astute observation that played a huge role in the US controlling the first 45 minutes yesterday, and something Bradley clearly didn’t think about.

    Your post about the history of tactics was awesome, so good that Yahoo quoted it.

    You have issues with grammar and bashing on MLS too much. But recently this national team posts have been top class, actually the best stuff on the web about the US Nats. Keep it up- get yourself a copy editor and this website will take off!

  5. Rex says:

    Kartik,
    I agree 100%. Michael Bradley is always dead from the 75′ on. Why is he one of the only players that always starts and always plays 90’ ?? With all of Bob’s tinkering and shifting of players it always seems to include Michael starting in the middle. He benches players, move players, but one thing is static… Michael will start in the middle. Why?
    Too bad Rossi doesn’t play for the US…. im sure Bob Bradley would have him wasting away on the bench next to Torres.

  6. HJAORM says:

    The situation is at this point in time completely beyond repair.

    Bradley must be fired. It is not because of the results which are decent but the lack of ability to understand the international game and managing his team for certain situation after being in the job for almost three years.

  7. Angel says:

    Bob Bradley is a person who play with players that he feels very comfortable, That is why he keep using his players that he knows best and like Kartik says he used player from the USSF youth System. He always use (Beasley, Bocanegra, Sasha, Broinstein, M. Bradley) all this come from either Chicago Fire or Chivas USA. and of course even tho Donovan and Dempsey are good players they know or think that they are Irreplaceable. Donovan sometimes he so Premadona that he think he is the best free kicker we have in this Team. Not only I think that Bob Bradley keep a grude with some players for Samples (Adu, Cooper, Orozco, Arturo Alvarez, Benny B.) all this guy have one thing in common and that is that either they had make a mistake that cause something to the USMNT or in the Youth USNT. For Example Benny, Alvarez, Adu and Orozco had problems before with Nowak in the Olimpic team or in DC United. and Now Cooper and Torres had some kind of problem with Bradley in the USMNT Camp or in a game. Anyway we as supported and as fan on the USA we need to know why are these player are been left behind or bench. Sunil have to start thinking that if this keep going on we are not going to have player with good talent on the field but we always going to be the laughing stock of the World of Football (Soccer). Noone is going to think that we are a legit team. Believe when I hear spanish comentator in ESPN español, Fox Soccer Network., Fox Español and even on GolTV. We are an emberrassment and they think we don’t belong on a the Big stages. what the heck they don’t even want to talk about team USA or mention anything about it. And why is this, cause if have an Idiot as President of the USSF who doesn’t know or even play soccer in his entired life. A Coach that never play either, that never play in a world cup or even professionally. I’m getting tired of this Idiots. And now the question is what can we do as fan and spectator of Good Football to correct this problem, Should their be a change of presidency of USSF and coach of the USMNT. Who is above Sunil G… ANGRY FAN

  8. C Webb says:

    I’m really torn on this one.

    On the one hand, you can’t really argue with what KK has to say. I think it’s a bit over the top in some cases because I think all of us to a degree highly overrate the talent that is available to the US and to hear the podcast you would have thought that we lost to Bangladesh or American Somoa. We lost to Italy with a man down. It is what it is. Until American players can master the major subtleties of international soccer (specifically ball striking ability – which includes first touch, passing accurately and crossing ability), you will continue to be frustrated with their performances.

    A ton of criticism was laid on Bradley on the podcast for not making the tactical move to try and stem the Italian tide. What exactly could Bradley have done differently? I really would like to know what KK and others suggest. Oh yeah, nobody actually suggested anything other than stinging criticism. It’s OK to criticize, but if you do so please offer your suggestions for what you thought they should have done better. You should also consider the possibility that the moves you suggest might not have worked yesterday anyway. We’ll never know.

    In addition, I heard a lot of negative criticism that is justly rewarded unto Bob Bradley. There was also a lot of “why didn’t Player X or Player Y play?” from the commentators. With all that criticism there was a shocking lack of alternatives offered up by Kartik and the guests on the phone.

    To suggest that Freddy Adu or Jose Torres would have made a difference yesterday is obviously a question that is subjective and can never be answered properly. While I too would like to see those two specifically on the field for the US, you do have to have responsibilities on the other end of the field (and let’s face it, that has been the #1 problem in recent times, not in going forward).

    My guess is, and this purely a guess, is that with 3 matches in 6 days essentially, it’s impossible for Bradley to play his preferred starting X1 unless they are robots. I would think that Adu and Torres will get some minutes in the next two matches. If not, then Bob Bradley NEEDS to answer why they aren’t playing.

    I’m not happy about the recent results, but I’m also not ready to jump over the cliff like others (Trecker in suggesting that the entire US Soccer system needs to be overhauled and restructured – there is some truth to that but again, without giving specifics about how to do this, it’s just pissing in the wind).

    I too am glad that my good friend Kartik is stepping up and being so vocal. It probably will not do any good in the end of things, but I’m happy none the less that I can listen to a 27 minute podcast on the way to work and literally argue every single point that is being made. I don’t always agree with what Kartik and his other guests have to say, but that is the beauty of contributing to this website and his podcasts. It’s a free country and no one within reason is going to villify you for it.

    Keep up the good work Kartik and try to look a little further down the road instead of condemning universally.

    C Webb

  9. The US team ran their socks off against Italy and probably one of the fittest teams in the tournament could not cope with the Italians who also put in a fair amount of graft.
    It seems that perhaps the best way for the USMNT to play well will be the Norway philosophy – tight defence workmanlike midfield and big men upfront for the long balls and crosses. Athleticism should help in tactics like these.
    US National team are not capable of outpassing, out-tackling opponents.
    Best for Bradley to reaffirm the USMNT strengths and build on that quickly.
    Go through some stats from Round 1 of Confed Cup: Stats Review Round 1

  10. Jason says:

    Ok, so people want recommendations. Here you go, may not have worked, but Bradley’s tactics weren’t successful either.

    1. Slot Bradley just in front of defense and bring Benny central with Landon on the right. This is sort of what Bradley did but Benny and Bradley were too flat. The US got beat up the middle and this may have given a little more presence. This tactic would have saved all 3 subs to then counter Italy.

    2. Bring in Wynne (I know, cringe) for Benny who looked gassed at halftime and slot Spector right in front of the central defense. Spector would have understood this role without a lot of bench instruction.

    3. At a minimum Bradley needed to counter with more defensive mentality after Italy’s subs. Lippi brought on 2 offensive players for 1 offensive and 1 defensive player. Bradley was stagnent and his first sub was offense for offense. Adu or Torres for Jozy would have been better with Dempsey sliding more foward with Landon.

    Just my thoughts. Maybe way off base, but at least I am trying.

  11. Fred says:

    Kartik,

    You are wrong! Bradley got his tactics right.

    I agree that Altidore could have been left on the field. However, I do understand the insertion of Davies. Jozy was looking winded. Davies is SUPPOSE to be a speedy guy. He was SUPPOSE to run around and challenge the distribution coming out of the back and and be a speed threat on the counter attack – of which he was niether. That’s his failings as a player – not performing in his usual manner. Not a tactical failure.

    Beasley coming in was the same theory. He’s SUPPOSE to be a two-way threat – and he is when in form. This is why he was really the only option coming off the bench (not another two way player to choose). At the time he came in US was down 2-1. Remember, this was right after Italy went ahead.

    I don’t have that much of an issue with the Coach’s tactics.

    The fact of the matter is USA matches up well with Italy – EVEN WHEN DOWN A MAN. It’s been held to be true in 2 consecutive games. Imagine a day when we get to play 11 on 11.

    BTW American players outscored Italian 3-1

  12. C Webb says:

    Jason,

    Those are good constructive moves that could have helped the US. The problem now is if those particular moves don’t pan out, well then it’s right back to criticizing Bradley for making “the wrong moves”

    At the end of the day, it really is damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

    it’s one thing to be critical of a world power underachieving (i,e.. England or Portugal) but I think it all goes a bit flat when trying to criticize the US when they play pretty much right where their talent base allows.

    Until the day that the US can solve their first touch issues and get more technical players on the field (not just one-way guys like Adu and Torres, but truly technical players like Essien, Ballack or Xavi Alonso) it’s going to be like this.

    Some years the US can pull off what they almost pulled off in 02′. But in most cases, the US will finish somewhere in the high teens or lower 20′s as their 06′ performance indicated.

    I know people cringed and whined when the US finished 32nd out of 32 teams in 98′ , but honestly it probably was where they deserved to be.

    You can only go as far as the talent can take you. Bob Bradley doesn’t help matters with poor squad selection and choosing out of form players, but it is what it is. He doesn’t have that much to choose from.

  13. Pat says:

    While he wasn’t my first choice I felt Bradley deserved a chance. Three years later, I fear he has run out of ideas.

    I was thinking in the second half when Italy made thier first sub – what is Bradley waiting for? he’s got tired legs out there and he is not making substitutions. That came back to haunt us. So put the first goal on Bradley as much as Feilhaber. He should have replenished his midfield before it was too late, it was obvious what was happening.

    We need someone with better tactics. It could be Klinsman or dare I say it “Sven”.

    Bradley seems a bit naive regarding how to play top level opponents. Until we find someone who knows how to approach these games and understands how to change the flow when needed, we are doomed to see more of the same.

    On a related topic, I would like to someday see the US play Italy 11 v 11.

  14. George H says:

    I thought the Davies sub was a mistake. Sure, he has bags of speed, but to play up top by yourself, you need to be able to hold the ball under pressure until your support arrives. Therefore, Casey would have been a better option and I think that Jozy’s earlier play showed that the Italian backline was struggling with a physical forward.

  15. Angry USA Fan says:

    Everytime we lost… there would be an excuse. Instead of seeking an excuse, shall we seek improvement? I think we are not at the level to win against big team. We are just not there. We played some terrible games against weak teams in the WC qualifying region. I don’t expect us to be able to at the expected level against top european teams.

    I think we need a new coach. Someone that I can bring this team to the next level. We have talents among the players but somehow the performance is not there. We need to have significant improvement otherwise I think we would end up 0-3 at this competition and not going anywhere at the world cup stage. Sorry to be negative but I don’t see any result from this type of performance going forward.

  16. Berlin says:

    After reading all the comments and watching the game again, I’m back at square one. Bradley shouldn’t play Beasley because he never plays for his club team, he’s not fit and looks lost. True. I’d say the same thing about Freddy at this point. Torres should definitely play, but a couple of the new guys looked really good so… Proof will be in the play My only hope is that if we go out 0-3, USSF moves fast and terminates Bradley BEFORE the Gold Cup. I’m starting to despair as a fan of the USMNT and can only imagine how the players are starting to feel. That said, if we beat Brazil then Bradley is the greatest coach in American soccer history. All about the W&L’s at this point in the cycle.

  17. Jason says:

    C Webb,
    I agree with you that ALL coaches are pretty much damned if you do and damned if to don’t. It is pretty typical of us American sports fans to be critical in a loss regardless of tactics and overly optimistic in victory. The fact we lost will bring tactics into plays without regard to the actual quality or lack there of of said tactics.

    An example is Bruce Arena’s decision to play Reyna on the right versus Mexico in WC2002. It proved to work however if the US losses that match due to poor midfield control then it was a bad decision. That is the nature of ore match decisions, the match plays out whether the decision was correct. So if a team does loss regardless of how, it is valid to examine tactics, and to constructively formulate other options. We will never know if other options would have worked.

  18. Tony H says:

    I still think we lost because of our approach to the game. We play too cautious and scared. How could Altidore pass up that shot on goal and try to pass the ball instead of being a man about it. We saw the same thing happen with Eddie Johnson in the World Cup. He has a one on one with the goal keeper and instead looks to pass backwards. It all starts with coaching. We are too worried about looking bad, well you know what, we did look bad.. We need a new approach.
    And that was a red card offense on Rico without a doubt. You can’t go that high up, bottom line. Someone could get seriously hurt.

  19. Todd B says:

    This lose is strictly on the shoulders of the coach. I don’t understand what happened to him since he became the coach of the MNT. When he was Chicago and had the European players and he did well. I thought he learned something from them and for a change I thought we had a chance to win against the Euro’s. I don’t know what happened but he is turning into another soccer moron. Instead of making a strategic change at half time and playing for a tie or possibly getting the win he did nothing. He started his son and mastroeni against costa rica. (They don’t have a creative brain between them!) but he could have pablo against Italy but he was not there. This was the time to play 2 butchers at the same time. If you want to know how the USA is going to do, just look at the roster for these games. Without Adu and Torres you have no creativity. both are wasting away on the bench. They will be lucky to get one tie in this tournament.

  20. Angel says:

    Well I think we should start thinking of who can be the next coach for either for this World Cup or the Next one. Here are some name and let me know who would you like to take over the National Team
    List:
    Hus Hiddink, La Volpe, Pekerman, Bielsa, Scholari, Alex Ferguson, Frank Rijkaard, Juande Ramos (Ex Real Madrid Coach), Klisman, Vanderlei Luxemburgo, Coach, Erickson, Mourinho , El Coco Basile, Schuster, Louis van Gaa. etc. make your sugestion Please.

  21. Golstriker says:

    Bob Bradley needs to go. He can’t coach. He didn’t play anywhere. He hasn’t coached anywhere other than MLS – and has never done that well. So he can’t play, didn’t play and hasn’t coached anywhere of note. So let’s make him national team coach. The U.S. was so close to landing Klinnsman but didn’t get him. Too bad. Bradley’s a wannabe who will be a neverwas. Get rid of him now and bring on another coach.

  22. Kartik says:

    I simply am astonished by the fall of grace from when bob was interim manager to now. Mind you, I think the Brazil friendly we could show well against top teams without bunkering for 90. He’s just gotten downhill from there, starting with poor squad selection (I will ask where Cooper is until the day he dies) and ending with losing the respect of the players. Shame.

  23. Neal says:

    Several factors will result in the US National team to have success. First, lure all Americans abroad to the MLS, this way they are getting regular playing time and are familiar with each other. Second, sack Bradley and bring in Jurgen Klinsman, who lives in L.A. and will have full access to all the MLS players. Third, sack Garber, he is destroying our league, single table, get rid of the playoffs, cup, allstar game, college draft and increase the salary cap. It’s frustrating watching the National team.

  24. Ian is frustrated with Bradley says:

    I’ve got three questions about Bob getting possibly fired:
    1. When does it happen? After the Confederations Cup? After the Gold Cup (US is planning on using its “B team” in that one anyway)? Once a spot in the WC is secure? After the hexagonal is over? Not sure there’s an ideal time, but when would it cause the fewest disruptions.
    2. What does it do to Michael Bradley’s play if his dad is let go? Does he continue on as if nothing has happened? Does he go away an sulk? Will he be told before the others? This IS something to consider.
    3. Who takes over? Klinsmann? You sure he wants the job this close to the WC? Would he not want to wait so that he can build his own team for 2014?

  25. Bob says:

    The USA’s downward spiral is unsettling… for years, we were the up-and-coming nation about to become one of the world’s soccer elite. And for a while, that trend seemed to hold true. Steve Sampson’s ’98 team was fast and exciting, in qualifying anyway, prior to a bad-luck but brave World Cup. The ’02 team exceeded all expectations in Korea/Japan. But the ’06 team not only made a quick exit, they did nothing memorable. And now it’s nearly 2010, and unfortunately, there’s nothing to look forward to, no potential, no prospects, no hopes. Where did we go wrong?

  26. Eric says:

    Bradley has had poor showings in Copa America 2007, 2008 Summer Olympics, and if Brasil finds its game a probable poor showing in the 2009 Confederations Cup. Outside of CONCACAF competitions the US has had no success. Why does CONCACAF cater and allow for its leadership to contain personnel from soccer substandard nations? There is no benefit in allowing subjective referees and playing in substandard stadiums. Even if teams like Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Trinidad & Tobago, etc can have qualifying wins, they will never achieve decent showings in big tournaments. Poor showings in internationational competitions is primarily a CONCACAF problem. Outside of the US & Mexico who in CONCACAF has achieved any success? I see no case at all for Bradley to keep his job unless he gets a draw on Thursday.

  27. AdamTheRed says:

    Bob must go no matter the results this week.

    I like the guy, but his tactical awareness is not enough for the international level.

    In regards to CONCACAF talent… I can see Costa Rica making it out of the group stage and shocking everyone…wait for it!

  28. Eric, Costa Rica advanced out of the group stage in 1990 and in 2002 they had 4 pts in a group with Brazil anf Turkey who both made the semifinals.

    T&T held the mighty Three Kittens (who based on your comment I assume you have some reverence for or at least listen to radio program from there) scoreless for about 70 minutes in the last world cup. CONCACAF isn’t as weak as you claim.

  29. Hal says:

    More than just tactics, I think Bradley’s slowly losing the team. Look at Dempsey. He doesn’t play with the fire that he does for Fulham. His play right now for the US reminds of his play during Sanchez’s reign at Fulham. Bring in Roy Hodgson and he starts playing with some gusto and was in form.

    Torres has to be wondering why the out-of-form Sacha gets more looks from BB than him and what he has to do. Was he not tracking back at Pachuca? Wouldn’t his manager there have addressed that or not played him if that was the case?

    We’re one year out and we still have no solid back four player other than Gooch, and even he’s beginning to be asked questions.

  30. J.V.R. says:

    I like your formation alot but bradley will NEVER do it. Also it involves taking his son out for a guy that is not from the USSF system. A good idea that would utilize our best talent and skill set but never will it see the light of day.

  31. bayou says:

    I am not jumping on the Jones bandwagon until I see how he actually plays. I fear that we are building him into something that no mere mortal can be.

    Something does need to change but. . .
    Firing the coach isn’t wise this close to the WC. There are no international coaches clamoring to take over this team. But as others pointed out, we’re losing Dempsey and he could be a real catalyst for this team. He is for Fulham even though he’s playing out of position. Beaseley should only be used as a sub and I agree we need more Adu and Altidore. And Torres.

    I think we need to move past relying so much on Donovan. He only lets us down on the big stage.

  32. Berlin says:

    Brazil game is a train wreck. Beasley. BEASLEY!!! Beasley just cost us a goal again, Bob! AGAIN! FIRE BB NOW!

  33. Michael Bauman says:

    For the majority of the comments on this site i must agree. I have been frustrated with the U.S. although at times there was evidence of hope for them, but after witnessing the poor performance against BOTH Costa Rica and Honduras (why were commentators happy with the way U.S. played Hon?) then to go into the Confed Cup against Italy while leading 1-0 at halftime and not make the proper changes to secure the win is beyond words. Despite playing a man down, we should have tactically been able to secure the win. I wonder what BB does at halftime? because he certainly is not doing his job. When Italy made their changes after the start to the half we should have been ready to counter those changes and adjust ourselves, but we didn’t. Then after the Rossi goal, we could have salvaged a draw with the right tactics but we didnt. And am I the only one who thinks Bornstein is not cutting it on the left side of defence? His performance was shocking if you ask me. Also why havent we discovered defending set pieces zonally? Our defending set pieces is awful.

  34. Mike says:

    Fire Bradley? Depends on your expectations. http://bit.ly/kWyNi

  35. mark says:

    So…how does all your “analysis” and criticism sound after the “inconsistent” coach and his “not worthy” band of players kicked the butts of the #1 team in the world. A very, very solid game today, coached very, very well. You should write Bob an apology note. He deserves it!

  36. mark, he made some of the tactical changes myself and others throughout the soccer media and blogosphere called for. For me the most important change was bringing in Charlie Davies and attacking with some speed while moving Clint Dempsey into the center of midfield. So Bradley essentially conceded the point to his critics by changing the tactics completely for the Egypt game attacking from the start as many of us called for, suing a speedy striker to play off a hold up player and moving Dempsey to the middle. I still don’t like the omission of Torres but Freddy Adu bring no value to this team that Feilhaber and Davies don’t already have for the time being.

    My posts if anything were more tactful towards Bradley than some of the ones across other sites on the net and unlike many of those other writers I stated yesterday very clearly that I thought Spain could be beaten and was highly over rated. Any European team that comes to a competition outside Europe as history has taught us is beatable.

    Job well done to Bradley but truthfully I was far from his most vicious or wrong headed critic.

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