I’m going to say it right now. That was the worst match I have seen these bunch of players perform on the road against an opponent that should’ve been done and dusted at the blow of the whistle to start the first half. How was it possible for this group that looked so strong at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah all of a sudden looked so timid & so nervous for no reason that they gave so many chances to the Soca Warriors. There was no bite to these so called big dogs that somehow gave away easy chances to Trinidad & Tobago that you thought they were going to throw away the three points.
Now by no means did I think this was going to be an easy match, but somehow these players didn’t get the message when they walked out of the locker room and started to play in the beginning of the first half. It was a complete shame that Clint Dempsey had reverted back to his lazy self who never really tried to get into the mix and fight for the ball. For the first time I saw Charlie Davies actually have a bit of a bad match. He had several bad touches on the ball and he made some bad decisions, but as I have said before the youth will make some mistakes and Davies will learn from this and get better when he returns to his club in France and gets ready for the final two qualifiers in October.
I felt that Jonathan Bornstein did a better job in this match on the defensive side of the ball, it wasn’t great but at least he looked a little more solid against T&T. Onyewu and Carlos Bocanegra had a lot of work in the center of the backline and sadly it looked like Bocanegra left Onyewu & Tim Howard a bit high and dry on those offensive chances for the Soca Warriors. Tim Howard was a brick wall once again and got lucky early in the first half when Cornell Glen tried a rainbow chip and the ball hit the crossbar and out.
There were times that the USA looked good on the offensive side of the ball and the credit goes to both Landon Donovan & Jozy Altidore as these two were setting each other up and making the team look decent. To be honest that’s not a good thing. That is a horrible thing to see when these two are the only ones actually giving a damn about the team and trying to make everything work.
Ricardo Clark was the hero of this match in the 62nd Minute. For some of you who assumed he was a defensive midfielder with a horrible goal scoring touch & was dumbfounded that he could score like that, I have seen it before & it wasn’t with the Houston Dynamo. When Bob Bradley was the head coach of the MetroStars in 2003 he drafted Clark from Furman and he has scored several goals and a few were bombs like the one he smacked into the back of the net against Trinidad. He always had the touch, but because he is a defensive midfielder Bradley back then told him to stay defensive and in my mind that hurt him in his true development. If some of you DC United supporters can remember the end of the 2004 MLS Regular Season the end of the first half Rico scored a goal just like the one this past Wednesday.
Bob Bradley had to feel that his players weren’t carrying the game plan on the field and he was standing up all match long. He made the subs at the right time and he gave Clark a reprieve when he scored the goal. But this time you really can’t fault Bradley with the tactics or the formations, the players themselves are to be blamed for looking either lethargic or assuming this was going to be a walk in the park. Just because Trinidad & Tobago are out of it that doesn’t mean they can’t play the spoiler role & sadly the boys almost handed them three points with ease.
I have told you folks many times that talent alone doesn’t win you these types of matches. They need to have the head and the heart that goes along with that talent to play at their best and win with the best. In that match it was Clark, Donovan, Howard and Altidore. The rest of the side stunk to high heaven and let’s all hope that this won’t happen again when they travel to Honduras on Saturday, October 10th. But once again this is World Cup Qualifying and all that matters is the three points to get the top spot of the table. But somehow it felt like they didn’t really earn it this time.