World Cup 2010 Day 16: World Cup Buzz Podcast

?The United States is out at the Round of 16, losing in extra time to Ghana, but did their play match the final score? The panel disagrees, discussing that, Uruguay’s win over South Korea, and tomorrow’s matched: England-Germany and Argentina-Mexico. It’s all on this edition of the World Cup Buzz Podcast.

6 thoughts on “World Cup 2010 Day 16: World Cup Buzz Podcast”

  1. Kartik,

    i think your massively underrating the US performance. You have done this consistently the entire tournament. Ghana were clearly second best for most of the second half even at the end of game. The game was tied at 1-1 after the pk. After that point Ghana generated 0 chances. How can you say that it looked like only ghana was going to win and at the same time recognize that kingston had a good game? If ghana was only going to win the game kingston would have had much less work and would have had fewer chances to impress.

    Findley, Bradley, or Fielhaber all had quality chances to score. If you read the zonal marking analysis of the match you would see that ghana had a 3-2 advantage in the midfield in the first half. that and rico clarks’ inability to cope at this level was what made ghana look like world beaters. ghana were good but they werent so much better than the US.

    I dont think that you can say that korea were better than the US when the opposition took different strategies. As soon as korea equalized uruguay came out and killed them. uruguay was always in control when they wanted to be and when they took their foot off the gas they let korea look good. that wasnt what ghana did. when the US game was tied the ghanains could not create chances and their goal came on a hopeful longball much like the US were sending. that last part of time you identify as the time when ghana’s fitness showed was a time when the US looked much closer to scoring than ghana ever did.

  2. The stats were almost exactly even with a slight edge in shots and time of possession. To say they were outplayed badly today is ridiculous. And to say tactical positioning doesn’t come down to the coach is also lunacy. New Zealand went with a wacky formation I’ve never seen at this level, but I’m sure they practiced it for the weeks they had to prepare for the tournament, and – for my money – was the best tactically prepared team of the entire tournament.

    Ghana deserved to win because they finished better and took their chances against a weak defensive line. The US needs a striker (or two) and some defenders for the next World Cup cycle. And, long-term, they need a better developmental system, but they still could have, probably should have won the game today.

  3. I’m a bit puzzled at Krishnaiyer’s description as well but I guess my take is that he is just very antagonistic to long ball speculation (which I would often agree with but thought was a fine 2nd half response today). My biggest problem with the 2010 campaign was Bradley’s faith in Clark but Bradley has done a wonderful job overall and I just hope that the USA does not make the mistake of keeping Bradley on in the same role because he has done a wonderful job.

    I’m much more curious about both the gang’s as well as the reader’s perspective on the USA’s 2014 campaign; In goal, Howard will have one or two more chances if he wants them. Troy Perkins might get a few looks but I’d expect Guzan and probably Seitz to be popping up much more often. This should be especially true of Guzan if he has a high profile starting job like taking over for Freidel. Hahnemann is obviously gone. Am I missing anybody?

    As far as the backs, Bocanegra, Cherundolo, & DeMerit will all likely be too old too to compete in Brazil. Onyewu will be 32 and thus should be entering the final stages of his international career. Spector and Bornstein should be in their primes at 28 and 29 respectively. I’m guessing Spector will become more and more of a straight centre back instead of a rightback as he gets older. Heath Pearce, Gale Agbossoumonde, Frankie Simek, Chad Marshall, Michael Parkhurst, Patrick Ianni, Marvell Wynne, & Michael Orozco look to be possible options in defence. From what I’ve seen, Agbossoumonde is the answer in central defence, but he’s only 18 so who knows. We might also see Gregory Garza be blooded in left back in a growing apprentice role to Bornstein unless the game is moving away from pacey bombardier wingbacks in which case he pops up as a more conventional winger. Who else?

    The midfield looks to be stronger: Donovan and Dempsey should be good for one more go although I wouldn’t be surprised to see Donovan move farther up top by this point in his stellar career. José Francisco Torres, Maurice Edu, and Benny Feilhaber should be good for one or two more cup runs. Edu probably fills in wherever needed. Barring injuries, Bradley looks like he has the talent, strength and intelligence to maybe make 3 more cup runs. Sacha Kljestan should also get in the next one. DaMarcus Beasley and Ricardo Clark ought to be done. Alejandro Bedoya and Stuart Holden should get some more looks with Sam Garza, Luis Gil, Brek Shea, Dax McCarty, Robbie Rogers, Will Packwood, and Danny Szetela, maybe Sal Zizzo trying to force the issue. I hope Freddy Adu returns but I’m not optimistic. He will still only be 25 though so maybe. Charles Renken is supposed to be the new Adu so maybe Freddy plays an Obi Wan to the highly regarded Renken. Who else? Thoughts on the 2014 midfield?

    Up top, you’d expect Charlie Davies (who will be 28) and Altidore (who will be 24) to be first choice. Everyone else besides Findley looks to be too old. If Findley discovers some more than great pace he’ll be in the equation. A few players like Kenny Cooper, Chad Barrett get the rollout although I wouldn’t expect them to make it past qualifiers. Chris Agorsor, Joseph-Claude Gyau, & Abdus Ibrahim all young players to get excited about but maybe also all too young. Probably more likely to find some right now in college standouts in the 2014 squad. I also keep hearing about Alexander Zahavi but I’m not sure which country he will play for.

  4. Guys, I think the performance was terrible. Stats do not matter- we’ve seen teams with 70-75% of possession time lose matches, and Ghana by nature in Rajevic’s system concedes possession and tends to drop off. For me in this game their was always only going to be one winner. The lack of a clinical finisher in addition to (for the most part) bad movement off the ball meant the US had to resort to route one longball. Ultimately, as we evolve as a footballing nation we must move beyond this approach. Bradley wanted us to do so, preaching one touch, pass and go football, but our players have been saddled with bad habits since the youth level.

    Bob Bradley has emerged as one of the elite international football managers, at least when you consider the talent level he has versus the results we’ve achieved. The US has consistently overachieved in his tenure. Winning Gold Cup 2007, Getting out of a very tough Confederations Cup group in 2009, winning the Hex over a Mexico team with far more technically gifted players, and winning a World Cup Group in 2010. For much of his tenure he has pressed the right buttons at the right time. We’ve read about how the team does not look right and how it concedes early goals. But the fighting spirit and in-game tactical changes reflect a smart and savvy manager who has grown on the job. The US is not going to do better than Bob Bradley. Now what we need to do is look back at the Q-Report, Project 2010 and determine why we are not where we should be (or sought to be in that report) in terms of player development, professionalism of our players, and overall structure of football. We need to evaluate what South Korea and Japan have done with similar resources to emerge quickly. We need to look at Holland, France and Brazil as our player development models and cast aside the continued anglophilia that afflicts many in and around the game in this country. Whatever we can take from England in terms of development and structure has already been taken. Now we need to find inspiration elsewhere and grow the program from a systematic level.

    Firing Bob Bradley in my opinion would be a colossal mistake that would take us backwards. Bradley wants to play a certain way, the way we should be playing. But our players do not have the technical skill, positioning sense or tactical awareness yet to play that way. Essentially we are a high energy team without a creative presence like Tab Ramos or Claudio Reyna. With the exception of Michael Bradley, our players do not consistently position themselves correctly or make the right runs going forward off the ball. A national team coach has very little time with the players to teach these things. The fact that his own son is by far our most savvy footballer speaks volumes to me about both BB and the system, and furthers my notion that our development system and youth structure needs a major overhaul.

    Bradley does get team selection wrong as he did with Rico Clark yesterday. But does he typically get things right? Yes. Benny Feilhaber wasn’t even in the player pool when he became coach. He integrated him into the team in his third friendly as manager. He choose Mo Edu for the Switzerland friendly even though he had never been capped at the youth level. He selected Charlie Davies for a friendly against China in 2007 even though he wasn’t on the radar of our youth national team coaches at the time. I could go on and on with similar stories, but for the first time EVER, the US selection process was based on merit under Bradley and not based on how many youth caps a player had or what club or league they played for/in.

    Again, he’s brought our program a long way in a short time. But a coach can only do so much when we have real problems elsewhere in our system.

  5. Kartik I agree with a lot of what you say about Bradley, but you let him off too lightly on the US’s two biggest failings of this WC.

    1 – starting lineup errors that have to be corrected at half time. By starting Clark and Findley he wasted 2 subs against Ghana that could have been useful late in an extra time game. It was clear from the Algeria game that Edu and Feilhaber were part of the US’s best formation. Against Slovenia they came on at half for Torres and a useless Findley and helped turn that game around. Feilhaber came on again at half against Algeria. Edu played the first 64′ of Algeria and helped control the MF. Clark in his two starts was directly responsible for 2 goals.

    2 – coming out flat and not focused in the first half. Its the coach’s job to make sure the players are focused and ready to go. Knowing their habit of conceding early it was even more incumbent on Bradley to make sure they started compact and smart.

    I agree that the future of the USMNT doesn’t depend on Bradley so much as it depends on developing kids into good players. That will be helped by the MLS developing an academy development system. An integrated league system between the MLS, NASL and the developmental leagues with pro/rel will also help develop more players. We need to get away from NCAA wasting 4 years of players time. Guys should be able to go to college and play professional football at the same time.

  6. “Bob Bradley has emerged as one of the elite international football managers”

    How do you forgive the Findley plan throughout the tournament? He turned out to be a complete dud. How do you forgive starting Clark against Ghana? A huge blunder that led the US to be unable to sub later in the match, when they were clearly tired. Also it just happened to lead to the first goal.

    How about the fact that the US continually starts matches with their heads in their ass? Does the coach take no blame for that? How about the fact the Donovan on Everton looked like a world class player while in spite of his moments of greatness during this tournament, phased in and out of the majority of play? Isn’t that an indictment of Bradley’s system to some extent?

    I’m not suggesting he deserves to be fired, but to laud praise on him and call him an elite international is preposterous.

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World Cup 2010 Day 16: World Cup Buzz Podcast

The United States is out at the Round of 16, losing in extra time to Ghana, but did their play match the final score? The panel disagrees, discussing that, Uruguay’s win over South Korea, and tomorrow’s matched: England-Germany and Argentina-Mexico. It’s all on this edition of the World Cup Buzz Podcast.

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