US National Team: Chronicling the downfall

us tt 225x300 US National Team: Chronicling the downfall


In 1998 the United States finished dead last in the World Cup. But truthfully that World Cup showed itself better in France than the current US team has performed of late. Despite an inability to finish chances in Steve Sampson’s odd 3-6-1 formation, the US only conceded five goals in the entire World Cup. Moreover in the previous nine months before the World Cup the US had achieved its only point ever at Estadio Azteca against Mexico and had beaten Brazil.

The US Men’s National Team had a successful run under Bruce Arena. In 1999 the United States defeated Argentina in a friendly, and Germany, twice one of the meetings being at the Group stage of the Confederations Cup. In 2000, the US crushed Mexico in a friendly and in 2002 the United States reached the quarterfinals of the World Cup.

But beginning in 2003 the US started a steady decline which has culminated in this week’s humiliating Confederations Cup.

2003-2005

  • The US finishes last in its Confederations Cup group with a mixed squad of World Cup veterans and second tier players. Despite the troubles, the US does only concede three goals in the entire tournament, including a 1-0 loss to Brazil.
  • The United States loses in the 2003 Gold Cup semifinals in Extra Time to Brazil at Miami’s Orange Bowl. The US played well but Kaka’s late equalizer sent the game into a golden goal extra time where the US would lose. But Brazil lost to Mexico in the final.
  • The US looked completely outclassed in a friendly against England at Chicago’s Soldier Field, quite a shock considering the US had advanced as far as England in the previous World Cup.
  • The 2005 Gold Cup saw the US lift the trophy. But a sold US team struggled to beat Honduras in the semifinals and needed PKs to defeat Panama in the finals. Mexico sent a “B” team after defeating eventual champion Brazil in the group stages of the Confederations Cup.

2006

  • The US is exposed defensively in a friendly against Germany where Jurgen Klinsmann’s team scored four second half goals on the US.
  • The US loses an embarrassing friendly at home to Morocco
  • World Cup 2006 proves to be a debacle with the US conceding three goals to an aging Czech Republic to start the campaign.
  • The coaching search for the US allegedly worldwide ends with Bob Bradley, longtime MLS manager and former Bruce Arena assistant at Virginia and DC United getting the job. Jurgen Klinsmann had turned down the job.

2007

  • The US limps through the Gold Cup conceding a goal to Panama despite being a man up and then needing a fortunate (and wrong under the rules) call late to hold off Canada. Then in the final the US conceded its first goal to Mexico on American soil in eight years but still won 2-1.
  • Copa America debacle: The US “B” Team leaves Venezuela without a point but actually plays much harder and smarter than the US team has this week in the Confederations Cup. (It should be noted for the USA dominates CONCACAF crowd that Mexico defeated champion Brazil in the first match of this tournament)

2008

  • The US fails to win against Mexico on American soil for the first time in nine years with a 2-2 draw in Houston.
  • The US looks helpless against England at Wembley. The next week the US performs very well in the first half against Spain but after Freddy Adu is subbed out for DaMarcus Beasley the US collapses and loses.
  • The US struggles in road games against Guatemala and Cuba in the semifinal round of qualifying scoring a single goal against both CONCACAF minnows on the road.

2009

  • The US beats Mexico 2-0 in Columbus but Mexico is missing several regulars and plays a man down for much of the second half.
  • The US draws with El Salvador on the road, the first time the US hasn’t defeated a nation outside the top 100 of the FIFA rankings this decade.
  • The US concedes two quick goals in Costa Rica in route to a 3-1 qualifying loss.
  • The US records its worst loss against Italy since the 1934 World Cup in a 3-1 defeat. It is the worst loss ever suffered by the US against Italy outside of Rome.
  • The US ties the national team’s all time worst loss against Brazil (and records its worst ever outside Brazil) in a 3-0 loss.

Should Bob Bradley be retained as USMNT Coach after the Confederations Cup?(answers)

39 Responses to US National Team: Chronicling the downfall

  1. Jason says:

    Can you forward this to Gulati’s Columbia email account?

  2. Kevin says:

    Wow….what a summary… I always wondered why Freddy Adu was taken out of that friendly against Spain, just as i was recently when Torres was subbed out at the half against Costa Rica. Beasley and Bradley are the downfall of the US national team. Bradley’s choice of lineups is mind boggling….Kljestan and Beasley of all people starting against Brazil, the two most out of form players on the team next to Dempsey….Then, your answer is to bring in Conor Casey and take out Altidore…huh? Beasley is single handedly playing himself into a sunday rec league, he’s god-awful, miserable, shockingly bad….terrible and you know what, he has been this bad since his knee injury.Yet he still is in the lineup for every game either as a starter of first sub. The second goal for Brazil, will be seared in my mind for the rest of his career, thats how bad that was. That image of a dumbfounded beasley with his hands on his head and that shocked look on his face as Robinho sucked on his thumb and gave interviews. Beasley should never be called up again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bradley needs to go, he’s embarassing….and as you’ve pointed out, this team is the worst in the last 20 years.The team sucks, they’re basically a retread of 2002 and 2006 with a blend of MLS level players and clearly its not working. The only thing we have going for us is Jozy Altidore, our CB’s, and LD. You could add a few names to the list, they’re just not likely to get a shot under Bob Bradley.

  3. Jacques Strappe says:

    You forgot to mention the third CONCACAF minnow that we only defeated 1-0 on the road in 2008–Barbados.

  4. Jacques you are 100% right but we’ve had some wise guy commenters here in the past who have said how unfair it was for me to malign the team for the Barbados game because it was played on a Cricket pitch and we sent an A- team. But the fact is Barbados had a perfectly good goal disallowed and also hit the post once or twice in the second half. Sam reason I didn’t put the T&T road game because that was a “B” team. However, T&T couldn’t even get through Gold Cup qualifying and by playing a B team we really screwed Guatemala up. They should be in the Hex and they would be more competitive than Trinidad. Then again Jamaica should probably be in the Hex instead of Mexico also.

  5. stephen says:

    Very interesting summary. I think you put an unnecessarily negative spin on some of the bullet points, but then again, it is what it is.

    There are so many changes, in my opinion, that need to occur to start making progress, but step one is to change the culture of the USSF.

    Start with the coach: bring in a brilliant soccer mind that wants to help the USA become something great and has the patience to do it. But even within USSF… Gulati & Co need to either get out the new coach’s way or step aside themselves. They’ve done all they can do and here we are.

    How will future talent be found, encouraged and developed? That seems like the biggest question.

  6. TheseColorsDoNotRun says:

    Bob Bradley is in all likelihood a wonderful person.

    As an international coach, he is narrow-minded, naive, and way out of his league. His player selection is baffling. He persists with his out of form favorites even when far superior players sit on the bench. He has the team playing with no discernible tactics or passion. His substitutions are ludicrous: as noted elsewhere, if Conor Casey is the answer I do not want to know the question.

    Sunil needs to be on the phone doing all he can to line up the best possible replacement.

    Bob Bradley should be thanked for his service and replaced.

    If you agree, join the Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=27249621746&ref=mf

  7. BC says:

    Obviously Bradley has to go…but realistically who can come in and right the ship for the US Nat’l Team. Hopefully someone who isn’t hypocritical when it comes to players who deserve and don’t deserve to be out on the pitch. Hopefully someone who understands football tactics just a little bit and doesn’t send out a nervous, tentative team from the start. Hopefully someone who can install a fire and a passion into some players who show none. Hopefully someone who can give the USA a chance of not totally embarrassing themselves in 2010.

    Who is that man? Is it Klinsmann? Someone in MLS? Would any respected coach on the world stage want to inherit this mess? Maybe we should see if Sven is still available…

  8. Confused says:

    Kartik,

    I have to say that some of the things you write about really piss me off sometimes but you are spot on in this article. Seriously, what the hell has happened to this program over the last few years? Its so mind boggling…I still don’t think we should fire Bradley but the only reason is because there is nobody else to replace him with…seriously who Bruce Arena? Jurgen Klinsmann? They aren’t serious upgrades in my opinion. Also I keep telling myself that maybe, just maybe Brian Ching, Steve Cherundolo, Maurice Edu, and Frankie Heyduk are serious upgrades to the current roster. But if they are then that is seriously a sad realization because none of them are world class either. At least they play hard though…

  9. Tom says:

    The 2005 Gold Cup team had guys like Brad Davis on it- and he actually did fairly well.

    The 2006 friendly at Germany was a predictable loss as we took an MLS heavy roster and didn’t have some vital regulars.

    The situation in the 2006 WC is similar to the Confederations Cup in that we don’t have one field player on our roster that would play for any opponent in our group. We simply don’t have good enough players. What Bruce Arena accomplished with the team is remarkable. It is the equivalent to a mid-major NCAA team that makes a successful run in the NCAA basketball tournament.

    We can keep changing coaches until the cows come home. It will not change the players. And for what its worth, I thought our players gave tremendous effort vs. Italy and the after-effects of playing so long a man down were readily apparent vs. Brazil. Our legs had very little jump in them.

  10. Lone Goal says:

    This is an excellent breakdown of a topic I’ve been thinking about a lot today (http://lonegoal.blogspot.com/). What happened to the team in the 2002 World Cup that stuck it to Portugal, humiliated Mexico and nearly took down Germany? What happened to the team that showed up during the first half of Monday’s game against Italy? Yesterday the team looked like a bunch of white-colored slaloms being knocked around by Brazil. At least play with some heart. Something has to change.

  11. Angel says:

    hahaha read this please, This a comment that Beasley made to SI soccer

    “The ball just went off my foot, that was it,” Beasley said Friday. “I don’t think I’ve ever had a mistake like that lead to a goal in my whole career, so I was pretty disappointed with myself.
    “When you lose a ball like that, it doesn’t matter, you’re on the field and you have a team that can put two or three passes together and go through on your goal. But it’s football and it happens. I apologized to my teammates that I’d make a mistake.”

    Yeah right what happen in Costa Rica when he try to get rid of the ball like the ball was on fire and hit poor Torres on the face and that cause the first goal in just a few minutes of the game. Suddenly that goal was the excuse of Bob Bradley to keep Torres out the second half and maybe the rest of The Confederation Cup.

  12. Angel says:

    Well another thing that is wrong with the USMNT in my opinion is that USSF had to work together with the MLS, I just don’t know why MLS & USSF are individual operated. Sunil and Garber need to sit down and work on the FIFA Schedule if the want to mix players from the MLS and Europe, I’m tired to see MLS playing games when the USMNT are in tournament (Gold Cup and Confederation) or are in the Concacaf Qualifying. USSF need to get a new system of developing need talent on our young guys and MLS need to forget that stupid Draft System let each team make their own School and Development of their youth program. MLS start thinking about that Salary Cap and raised more so we can keep some of our talent players in house until some of them get to go over aboard with some chances to be a starter in some European Club or elsewhere. So they won’t let to waist on their bench. MLS Bring in more DP Coaches or managers to teach our kids to be more technical and creative. those are some of my opinions

  13. Gods own Country says:

    kevin,
    “your answer is to bring in Conor Casey and take out Altidore”

    I think right now I would rather have casey in for altidore, only because casey is in form and jozy is not. Casey had couple of chances aganist brazil.

  14. MV says:

    This article begins with a conclusion and than selectively chooses steps to prove that conclusion. I agree we’re in tough days but this article is just silly. The author leaves out results, puts a negative spin on good results and emphasizes friendlies and other ho hum games with negative results that really didn’t matter all that much.

  15. TTB says:

    Another offensive piece from you which just serves to further put fuel on the fire like your buddy Denholm constantly does. The two of you have been out to get Bob Bradley since the beginning. Guess what? He’s doing a great job and not going anywhere. All you do is repeat the same arguments over and over again. I’ve been listening to your podcast/radio show for over two years now and it is the same thing about no leadership, bad player development, bad strategy and how the old US teams were better , yadi yadi ya. Well hasn’t occurred to you Mr. Kartik that all this negativity eventually wears off on the players. Very few soccer shows are availible. They listen to you. They listen to Denholm. Eventually they develop an inferiority complex because you two blowhards keep saying “we suck” “bradley sucks” “Adu is better” “Torres is better” and “play this guy from MLS instead” so often it gets into their heads.

    So congratulations. Your stealth war against our national team the team you claim to love has worked. Our worst loss ever to Brazil? True, but don’t you think you had a hand in it for all your negativity and trashing of the team after wins in tough places like Cuba and Guatemala?

    Of course if the very same performances were registered by the US under Klinsmann DD and KK would be saying how good the US was and how close we are to breaking through. Admit it- until we hire a foreign coach you guys won’t stop this drumbeat.

  16. quakesin2kNever says:

    Kartik,

    This post is just one-sided lopsided propaganda. You need to present all of the facts to get any credibility.

    You make it sound like the Costa Rica loss a few weeks ago was so horrible when in reality we always lose on the road at Costa Rica (and so do all the other concacaf powers). Our legendary 2002 team lost both road games at Costa Rica in 2002 qualifying.

    You make it sound like the losses to Italy and Brazil were our worst ever. But how many of our previous games against them did we play man down for 60 minutes? None. Again, you leave out important facts. Losing a player early on completely changes the game.

    You also ignore our very strong record against Mexico recently.

    I think with a few tweaks in the personnel we could be pretty dangerous in 2010. We just need to cut Beasely and Casey. We need to bench Kiljestan. And we need to play Adu and Torres.

    Plus we should be getting reinforcements soon with that big defender from Germany switching national teams in a month.

  17. TTB says:

    Agreed Quakes. If we had been 11 vs 11 yesterday we still could have probably would have drawn.

    Kartik ignores the fact in some of those previous Brazil games they were down to 10 and we were at 11. Of course 1-0 looks better than 3-0 but when you lose, you lose and in those games we didn’t even try and play football.

    But Denholm and Kartik have an agenda. Get Klinsmann hired. Heck, they may even be working for him.

  18. El Loco says:

    Let’s do our homework here. IMHO, Coach Bradley made his first major mistake by taking a team of infants to the Copa America. He took a team to Venezuela to practice and scrimmage, not to win. Why? You should always insist that the objective of a team is to win. If you want to practice, schedule a friendly. Copa America was an embarassment. We need a dedication to winning, our 94, 98, and 2002 WC teams had that. Never give up and hustle, hustle. I looked at the roster of the team that went to Copa America and it is scary. Of the whole roster, here are the ones still on the team: Bornstein, DeMerit, Wynne, Clark, Feilhaber, Kljestan, and Davies. Bradley wasted an opportunity to take a winning team to Venezuela, so he could glean these players from that squad. I think that is a very small return on the investment. We need more maturity on the team, something the aforementioned teams had plenty of. Maturity, not scared of other teams, smart players. It is supposed to be a Men’s team, not a boy’s team. Bradley should do his scouting by watching players on their club teams, not by using international tournaments to teach his players that they are horrible. And YES, show me another country that invites players to their natonal team, who are not playing for their club teams! Bradley, not only invites them, but starts them. Say what you may about Freddy, but at least he is not scared to play the game the way it was meant to be played…FULL BORE, FULL ATTACK. Replace Bradley with a coach that recognizes skilled players and demands that they also be smart and aggressive.

    TTB, you are truly nuts. Did you see the game against Guatemala last year when Heath Pearce got away with a clear hand ball in the box? If the ref calls that we draw at best. Did you see the Panama game a few years ago where they got a goal with 10 guys against our 11?

    Kartik and Denholm have been over the top no doubt. But the truth is the vast majority of what both of them said about the national team has come to pass. DUDES THIS WAS THE WORST LOSS TO BRAZIL EVER! WE HAD NEVER LOST BY 3 GOALS TO THEM BEFORE. STOP SAYING WE ARE PLAYING WELL.

    AND TO THINK WE’VE PLAYED WELL AGAINST MEXICO IS LAUGHABLE. AS THIS PIECE ILLUSTRATES THEY’VE BEEN COMING CLOSER AND CLOSER TO BEATING US.

    KARTIK ACTUALLY MESSED THIS PIECE UP- I COULD LIST 6 – 8 MORE GAMES WHICH CLEARLY SHOWED THE ROT WAS SETTING IN.

    FIRE BRADLEY NOW!

  19. Ian says:

    The players on the field need to take some responsibility for their lack of commitment and effort. On Brazil’s second goal, after Beas loses the ball, I see Kljestan and Beas jog back at 75% rather than sprinting. How does someone dribbling the ball run faster than any American without? I thought we pride ourselves on fitness. Connor Casey gave absolutely no effort. He comes in as a sub to only play 45 minutes and can’t even apply a little pressure on the back line. And what is with Dempsey show boating down three goals? Do something effective like getting forward or defending or get off the pitch.
    Also, if Torres and Adu are not in the starting line up against Egypt then I might not even watch. Our defense and midfield is too poor to try to play a low scoring game against them. We have to throw everything forward with our skilled players.
    And why has there not been one criticism of Gooch? He may play well defensively, but he is just as well to blame for our offensive struggles as anyone. He can’t even make a pass to feet. He plays the ball long more than any international center back I have ever seen. That is the reason the US has played more long balls than any team in the tournament, including New Zealand. They also have connected on the least amount of long balls.
    It is too frustrating to watch Donovan be the only player who looks like he gives a damn in this tournament. He was dropping back in the final 20 minutes to defend because his team lacked the huevos and organization to hold Brazil in check at all. I feel like if I went out there tomorrow and just gave effort I would put in a better performance than half the team.
    And Klinsi will never coach the US as long as the clowns running our federation are in charge. Kartik, you might as well give that up now. He had ideas on how to change the bureaucracy and other rubbish and was told “we’re hiring Bradley instead.”
    This team is a disgrace. This decline may not have started in 2003 as Kartik chronicles here, but was clearly starting in 2005 when we jogged around Azteca after their two first half goals trying not to be embarrassed. The previous two qualifiers at Azteca we had given up one goal combined and gave up no goals down to ten men for about 70 minutes. That’s the game I’d point to as to when this collapse began. It was obvious to me that day in the toughest of circumstances the only setting you can judge in CONCACAF we had regressed from 97 and 01. Those who say this performance against Brazil wasn’t any worst than any other have never watched this national team when it’s been good and have been for lack of a better word Gulati-ized.
    This team is at its lowest point in 20 years. I agree with Phil Schoen on your podcast Kartik. The 1994 team would kill this one.

  20. quakesin2kNever says:

    I have another stat for Kartik:

    Brazil has won five of its Conmebol 2010 WC qualifying games by a score of 3-0 or better. Ecuador, Chile, Venezuela, Uruguay, and Peru. And none of those teams played man down either.

  21. Ian says:

    Quakes, how do you explain the US not giving up 3 goals to Brazil in the last ten meetings prior? Is this Brazil team better than those? Also the US gave up 2 goals in the first 19 minutes 11 v 11. Some of you people must work at Soccer House to come up with this total illogical garbage.

  22. Jason says:

    I know there is some overlap, but it is clear over the last 3 years the impact that Claudio Reyna has on this team. There is absolutely no one on this team that has demonstrated the consistant ability to dictate and direct play from central midfield.

  23. Ian says:

    Well said Jason. As Kartik has said on his show we’ve still not replaced Reyna and O’Brien after all these years. I’d Brian McBride to that list also.

  24. Lawerence says:

    Excellent piece Kartik, Bravo!

    Watch the tapes and you’ll realize the U.S. has three major issues — all products of ineffective coaching. All problems that were not as obvious under Arena, Sampson or Bora
    1. Poor first touches — when receiving passes, crosses or 50/50s, the U.S. suffers from a propensity to handle their first touch with the delicacy and control of a drunk Ohio State linebacker. The stat itself isn’t kept but watch to see how many U.S. turnovers are caused by our inability to put our first touch into space or towards another teammate. This is clearly a result of a lack of confidence or composure, but due to lack of playing experience which must be remedied considering injury. Analysis: confidence and composure issues result of ineffective coaching.
    2. Reliance on the long ball and consequent failure of execution of the long ball — during Confederation Cup play, as short as it was, the U.S. attempted the highest number of long balls (deep passes for american football fans) and completed the lowest percentage of long ball passes. Due to lack of confidence in ability of a) midfield play and movement, b) ball handling of defensive players, c) live time play (e.g. live play not coming out of penalties characterized by abilities to create.) Analysis: Better ball handling and creativity leads to more/better ball control which puts less pressure on the defense. While acknowledging the impact of injuries on starting defensemen and midfielders, it is up to the coach to gameplan around said injuries in order to prevent 0-3 losses.
    3. Poor Veteran play — as members of a team. Individual play is average at best but ask Demarcus Beasley (who, by all accounts, should be a bright spot on the roster) why his 45 minutes of playing time is detrimental to U.S. success. Analysis: individuals are struggling to become a team. Coaching focuses on what should work in theory as opposed to what does work with the players on the pitch. Game and coaching strategy at fault — needs adjusting.
    – Final Analysis: coaching change necessary before 2010 or else!

  25. bayou says:

    Jason,
    You’re absolutely right about not replacing Reyna. And I want to add that another thing this team does not have is a leader. Who is the guy who takes control, leads by example, and gets on guys for dogging it? There is not a single leader on this team. You can’t expect Howard to do it because he’s in the goal, not on the pitch running alongside the players. I’ve seen no leadership come out of Donovan, Dempsey, Bradley, Bocanegra, Gooch, or Beaseley.

  26. Quakes-

    First of all we played 30 minutes down a man and were already down two goals. I have to ask an honest question. If losing to Brazil 3-0 is not a big deal how do we explain the US DEFEATING Brazil a few months before they went to the World Cup final and the US losing by a single goal to Brazil both a year before the 2002 World Cup triumph and year after in the Confederations Cup? How is the US’ 1-0 loss at Copa America in 1995 (in the semis) explained considering Brazil was in the middle of the all time greatest run in football history (which spain could actually break in this tournament). Surely given your standard that US team should have lost 5-0, 6-0, or 7-0 especially considering the game was in Uruguay not far from the Brazilian border.

    I’m sorry but if you take a historical perspective on US Soccer, Thursday’s performance was a low in the post 1990 era and a complete embarrassment shown on worldwide television. It is simply not acceptable to perform in this fashion. Even worse Bradley clearly did no scouting. Under Dunga Brazil plays deep- so deep they look like Argentina used to against Brazil. Yet Bradley didn’t come out with a formation to counter this just long balls and picking two former club players of his who have no ball skills over those who could break down a bunkered defense. Player selections and bad tactics are how you fall down 2-0 within 19 minutes to a team that is actually set up defensively.
    We can argue about the Italy game but nobody in their right mind can argue that yesterday’s performance was not among the most shameful from a coaching and player standpoint for the US since 1990.

  27. quakesin2kNever says:

    Kartik,

    You still have not responded to my points about the Costa Rica game.

    Which leaves you with merely the Brazil game to complain about. One game does not a season make. You don’t go firing coaches based off one game. The season is long and play varies from game to game. Players play above and below their abilities from game to game. It’s no reason to panic and fire Bradley. If we fall on our faces in 2010 then sure let’s fire Bradley AFTER the world cup but not based off one game in the Confederations Cup. Starting over with a new coach this close to the world cup would be disastrous.

  28. The Costa Rica game was no worse I agree than previous trips to Saprissa.

    However, the Italy game was worse than every previous meeting against Italy since 1934- don’t say we dominated the first half because Italy more often than not allows its opposition possession in the first 20-25 minutes and then strikes.

    The El Salvador game was pathetic. Tactically we came out completely out of whack.

    The game against Cuba in Havana was a joke. We scored an early goal from Dempsey and sat on the game. The players looked disinterested and just kept sending the ball forward without intent.

    Actually that brings up a good point. As I said with the Brazil game is was obvious that Bradley did ZERO scouting of the new Brazilian tactics under Dunga. None. We set up against Brazil the way we used to in the games I previously mentioned. The difference was then we’d have a Reyna or a Ramos that could hold the ball in midfield against intense pressure and generally our spacing and shape held together well.

    If you understand tactics you’ll realize that under Bradley our spacing has been worse than ever before under intense opposition pressure and we give up more goals right up the middle than we ever did under Arena or Sampson. That’s inspte of usually having two defensive midfielders.

    If we want to go back to games, under Arena the US never gave up a goal to Mexico at home between 2000 and 2006, but under Bradley we’ve given 3 in 3 games, still decent but clearly regression. Under Arena and Sampson we gave up 7 goals total in 7 games against Brazil and under Bradley we’ve given up 7 in two games! Only one of those 7 was scored when we were a man down so that’s not an excuse.

    Another note on coaching. I’m tired of fans whining about Kljestan and Clark’s reds. Were they harsh? maybe, although I agree with both calls. You cannot get disposed and then tackle high in a knee jerk way as both did and not expect to be carded. At that point you’re at the refs mercy. The official has to make a snap judgment and considering Kljestan gets a card a game in MLS and Clark received the longest ever MLS suspension they both have established reputations. As one commentator on this blog noted after the Italy game sympathy from official is not an entitlement after a reckless, clumsy tackle.

    But this goes back to Bradley. Beacuse of the tactics and poor spacing we see more bad giveaways than ever. He puts guys in central midfield who either are playing deeper than they should thanks to the tactics(Feilhaber, Bradley) or simply should never be trusted with the ball in the middle of the pitch against decent opposition (Kljestan and Clark)so what you have is constant bad giveaways and players who don’t have the sense to not react angrily and foul. And yes that too comes from coaching. After the Clark sending off Bradley needs to make the players he selects aware of why Clark got that card and not to put themselves in that position. Clearly based on Kljestan’s actions he did not hear that speech.

  29. Rex says:

    quakes what are you talking about 1 game?? Did you not read Kartik’s article?? Kartik constructed the best argument i have seen to date documenting how its SO much more than one game.

    Average to poor player selections, constantly changing bad tactics, and all-time low team moral…. He’s gota go.

  30. Angel says:

    TTB, are u kidding me if you think Bob Bradley is doing a great you, if you listen to other Sport talk show especially about Soccer and thats only in Spanish the say that Bob Bradley need to stay cause there is noone out there at this moment and no enought time but the USMNT team is playing worst and worst. And yeah you can say that maybe is the players, but are u dumb enough to think that. Please tell me who is the person who selecting these player. Yeah thats what I thought Mr. Bob Bradley the coach himself. He pick the player, He place the player on the field, He is the one who tell them what to do. Now if the player don’t preformed the way they supposed to well why he keep calling the say guys over and over again, so don’t blame Denholm & Kartik for going after Bob Bradley since he took over. Maybe they saw something that everyone else now it seeing and thats that he’s not the right coach for the USMNT.

  31. One more point Quakes: Jermaine Jones plays in the midfield for Schalke, actually as a holding mid in a 4 man mid. He’s not a defender although I suppose he could play central defender in a pinch but may not have the instincts for that position. But their is no guarantee Bradley will play him. He has preferred players at Central mid- his son, two former club players of his (Clark and Kljestan) and Feilhaber who I will give Bradley credit for spotting in the youth pool and elevating a few years back since he does have decent technical skill on the ball.

  32. park bolivar says:

    quakes:
    With regard to Saprissa, that was, honestly, one of the first signs we were in trouble. Did you watch that game? Costa Rica had scored on us within 79 seconds of play! The whole US squad looked bad, and the one point (a PK in stoppage) that Donovan got felt like charity from the officials.

    Sure, I get it, Saprissa and Azteca are hard CONCACAF venues to play in, but, the US performance that night was abysmal, and depressing. And, I acknowledge than you can chalk so much up to home-field advantage and concrete and astroturf, but you cannot explain away the fact that our squad looked bewildered the entire time.

    Bradley has not won an away match since September of last year (against Cuba, no less). You cannot explain that away as ‘bad luck’.

  33. Angel says:

    sorry about so mamy mispelling and grammer just that I’m freaking Pissed off.

  34. Excellent article. Unfortunately, Bradley will probably be sacrificed when the problem exists way above him, in the federation itself. That doesn’t mean that Bradley has performed well in his position either – many of his tactical decisions are found lacking at best.

    In the end, while Bradley seems to be a wonderful human being, he is not capable of matching wits with any national team coach outside of CONCACAF. That’s the plain and simple truth. In my estimation he is more equipped to be a Number Two on a better than average national team, a guy who can get under the team’s skin, kick a few butts when he has to on the training pitch and put his arm around a kid before he’s bled into the squad (like he did when he gave Freddie Adu his first sub with the senior team).

    What I would give for a Slaven Bilic or a Pierluigi Casiraghi to take this program by the horns and give it a real injection of identity, which it has lost since the program found its first World Cup success in 2002. The good news in all of this is that the decibel level found in our combined outrage now indicates that people are watching, that people care about this team and that we want it to get better sooner rather than later.

    Again, great piece of analysis .. and cheers!

  35. eplnfl says:

    Upon reflection we should thank Bob Bradley for his efforts over the last 3 years. No one wanted the job after the 06 showing. Bradley was only a temporary appointment as we may recall. His success in the 07 Gold Cup and early qualification rounds where enough for him to win the job. Was it a choice made too soon. Apparently so. Is Bob Bradley a poor coach no, is he the right coach for a WC team, does not look like it. Which may have been the thought from the beginning.

    Was it a good choice to bring youngsters to South America in 07. YES! We were 3 years out from the WC and let’s get young players experience against some top teams. Has the qualification campaign been handled well. Well, maybe not but adequate is safer to say. Is it the time now to revert to the original plan and bring in a big name for a final push for 2010 and try to advance out of the group. Yes it is.

    So, let’s say thank you to Bob Bradley, you gave it your all, somethings haven’t worked out as you or the fans had hoped and we wish you luck with a MLS club that you can take to a MLS crown.

  36. Jason says:

    Here is stat directly from US Soccer’s pregram notes for the Egypt match.

    The US is 0-5-1 against Top 5 FIFA Ranked teams under Bradley. The US is 7-18-1 all-time against Top 5 FIFA Ranked teams since the rating started in 1993.

    Thus the US is 7-13-1 against Top 5 teams before Bradley. This is acceptable. O wins in 3 years is not.

  37. Great stat Jason!!!!!!

    Precisely what I have been trying to say. It’s acceptable to lose to Brazil and Italy. But it is not acceptable not to compete. As I said the other day on twitter, I challenge any Bradley defender to watch old tapes of matches under Bora, Sampson or Arena versus top teams and tell me we looked as bad as we have under Bradley.

    The evidence is irrefutable once you watch the tapes.

  38. Pharaoh Phootball says:

    I’m comparing the pregame shows on the English languange station and on the Spanish station.

    English= boring, lame dorks.

    Spanish= big party with hot chicks wearing Italy or Brasil football kits, dancing and being sexy while everyone has a good time.

    I feel bad for the non-Hispanic culture of the usa. So boring.

  39. LI Matt says:

    Well.

    Well, well, well. Who’da thunk it.

    Does this result “vindicate” Bradley? Somewhat. Does it mean everything everybody said all week was wrong? No. We got the result(s) we needed, and we’re moving on. But the larger problems are still there.

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