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US 0-1 Cameroon: Post Match Thoughts

Across the internet I see the panic button being pushed after this match. Sure both the performance and result were not encouraging, but the back line thought to be the weakness of this side when the squad was named over two weeks ago now looks like a rock at the back entering the Olympic Games.

In the opening forty five minutes, Sacha Kljestan and Stuart Holden were both poor out wide as was Michael Bradley in the middle and Jozy Altidore up top. For all the accolades Altidore has gotten his play with the U-23 team has now failed to live up to the level he established with the U-20, four of the last five times he’s dawned the US jersey. As for Bradley his summer of misery continued with poor passing, bad spacing and clumsy challenges. One such challenge conceded a spot kick which accounted for the only goal in the match. Bradley is becoming more and more dangerous to the US squad everytime he sees the field. This is a far cry from the confident player we saw on the national team level a year ago and the player who tore up the Dutch League this past season. With Bradley, Holden and Kljestan on the pitch the US’ spacing was poor and offensive flow did not exist.

The second half was better thanks to Freddy Adu and Benny Feilhaber. Charlie Davies also looked like he could add some spark either up top or on the right side. As always Brian McBride gave a workmanlike performance and actually may have drawn a penalty that the official ignored. Marvell Wynne, Mo Edu, Michael Parkhurst and Michael Orozco were all outstanding at the back as was both Brad Guzan and Chris Seitz.

Work is left to be done but based on the two friendlies this should be the US lineup.








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  1. Armand

    August 4, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    Our arrogance in talking about hiring coaches that understand the American player are about to bite us in a big way. We pointed to this tournament four years ago as potentially our breakthrough a tournament with our reservoir of academy trained talent that could win a major international title. Instead the event thanks to Nowak will reinforce the also ran status of American Soccer abroad.

  2. bandeeto

    August 3, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    I agree with Mark Agreeing with me… uhmm yeah.

    Except that I don’t really care if the USA goes 3 and out at the Olympics. yeah I said it. What I find vitaly important is HOW the US plays, reguardless of the results.

    An overly defensive, confused, timid, lucky win will leave a bad tast in my mouth, even if it’s for gold.

    However, if we play great, offensive, brave, tactical, proactive, etc., but our opponents do it better, then that’s life. I can handle that.

    In other words, (I realize that this may sound crazy) I’d rather be that team that deserved to go further (if not for bad luck, fate, or quality of opposition), than that team who is obviously out of it’s depth, should be watching from the sidelines, plain old doesn’t deserve to be there.

  3. Joseph T.

    August 3, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    If we do not advance out of the group stages the tournament has been a total failure.

    We need to really step up and play well this next week.

    This tournament is critical long term for US Soccer.

  4. Mark

    August 3, 2008 at 10:39 am

    Agree with Bandetto. The thought entering this cycle was that the Olympics in 2008 was the best chance ever for the US to win something of significance (sorry the Gold Cup doesn’t really count)and now we are left wondering if we’ll go down the same way we did in the 1998 and 2006 World Cups without ever threatening.

    The real question for you Kartik, is whether US Soccer is broken?

  5. bandeeto

    August 3, 2008 at 1:28 am

    0 – goals from the run of play in five games! Nobody is overreacting.

  6. Jameson

    August 2, 2008 at 10:38 pm

    I think you guys are over-reacting. African teams traditionally do very well at the Olympics and we have played tight matches against two of the better teams. I am not worried about the result but a goal would be nice.

  7. Michael

    August 2, 2008 at 9:00 pm

    Feilhaber couldn’t even get a game for Derby County, give me a break, and he’s also a cancer in the dressing room.

    Phillip, Bradley is good when he’s behind the striker, just like where he plays for Heerenveen, but he can’t play as a defensive midfielder, and Szetela can, and he’s very solid there. It should be Szetela holding, with Adu right behind Altidore and McBride.

  8. Ray

    August 2, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    Both Szetela and Bradley are worthless on this level at this pressurized of an event.

    I’d place Feilhaber behind a three man midfield line of Kljestan, Adu and Holden. Put McBride up front and use Jozy as a late game substitute.

    Davies can also be used out wide and if Kljestan does not do the job he can play there.

    K, you and Denholm are right about half time time. You were right on Bradley but wrong on Benny. Right on Freddy, wrong on Jozy.

  9. Phillip

    August 2, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    Did you watch the first game? Bradley had an EXCELLENT game when he was placed behind Adu.

  10. Michael

    August 2, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    Philip, you’re crazy if you don’t think Altidore and McBride should start together up front.

    And Bradley over Szetela?? What game have you been watching? Bradley is rubbish at international level, I wish more people would see what I’ve been saying since the U-20 World Cup in Canada last year.

  11. Joseph

    August 2, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    A 4-5-1 is ideal but honestly our wide players aren’t good enough to execute it well. Recall in qualifying we played a 4-5-1 and looked just as lethargic.

  12. Phillip

    August 2, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    Here’s what I want to see…





    ——-Altidore or McBride———

  13. Phillip

    August 2, 2008 at 9:19 am

    Also, we should be playing a 4-5-1.

  14. Phillip

    August 2, 2008 at 9:06 am

    Bradley was arguably the best player in the midfield in the first half of the match the other day against Ivory Coast.

  15. John. Harris

    August 2, 2008 at 8:59 am


    But Benny played well again according to both you and the other accounts I have seen, so that is at least some good news.

    We’ve scored zero goals in the run of play in five matches under Nowak. Three PKs and two free kicks are all our scoring.

  16. Larry

    August 2, 2008 at 8:30 am

    I did not see the game (what time was it if you have a post first thing in the AM recapping it?)but it does not sound good.

    Bradley has been bad all summer and I am sorry to hear Kljestan and Stuie are struggling as well.

    Hopefully it’s just the pre olympic friendly doldrums.

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