US 2 Holland 2




Wynne – Edu – Parkhurst – Orozco

Rogers – Bradley – Kljestan – Holden



Rogers and Holden swap flanks to play on owing itself to the bad linkup play between Orozco and Rogers. Otherwise Nowak keeps his starting XI intact. Join us to discuss at CSRN’s Third Half Chat.

Post Match Thoughts:

Several hours after the match concluded the bitter taste has not yet been washed away. But the reality is simple: The United States controlled the match against a European power but showed immaturity and a lack of understanding in the last several minutes of the match and opened the door for the Dutch who were not even truly playing football in the second half. To be quite honest this group of American players did not even perform this well against CONCACAF opposition. The truth is Holland has never played well in tournaments held in warmer climates and today the superior fitness and conditioning of the American players was obvious. Nigeria as I projected before the tournament and now after two matches is far better than the Dutch and the US will need to play well to get a draw. Without Michael Bradley and Freddy Adu available, the depth of the United States will be tested in the final group match.

It is possible the US can advance with a loss if Holland does not defeat Japan. Based on what I have seen from both sides, Holland is unlikely to beat anyone in this tournament except for China or New Zealand. However, a side with Roy Maakay, Kew Jailens and Ryan Babel cannot be underestimated and we must assume they’ll play far better in the final match of the group stage than they did in the first two matches where quite frankly both Nigeria and the US let them off the hook.

Second Half Thoughts:

Folks it doesn’t get anymore devastating than this. I try and be an objective commentator but I am also a lifelong US National Team fan, and this one hurts worse than most. Early in the second half the US came out flying and creates countless chances. Freddy Adu continues his fine technical play on the ball. Brian McBride nails a header off a Stuart Holden free kick but the keeper just makes the save. The chances piled up for the United States and finally a great ball from Freddy Adu to streaking Sacha Kljestan results in a classic finish. Minutes later with the US pressing and Peter Nowak making the offensive minded substitution bringing in Jozy Altidore for Robbie Rogers, Michael Orozco centers a great ball which Altidore finishes and the US goes up 2-1. As the United States tries to kill the game and the Dutch looked mentally and physically dead. On the counter chances continued to come for the US, but Stuart Holden put a shot on goal instead of using the help he had and on another Jozy Altidore just mistimed his run. The desperate Dutch brought Roy Maakay on late despite his injury and he failed create anything for the Dutch. Ryan Babel was effectively marked out of the game by the US back line.

Both Freddy Adu and Michael Bradley pick up silly yellow cards meaning they will miss the next match where everything is on the line. Stuart Holden’s foul then gave Holland life and the wall didn’t do it’s job. It’s tough to even breakdown what happened there. Holland was just flinging the ball forward out of desperation, no real danger present based on the inability of the Dutch to cope.

A tough one to swallow but its part of being a US fan to absorb disappointments like this. More analysis to follow.

First Half Thoughts:

The US started slowly as they have consistently during Peter Nowak’s tenure managing this team but really came on in the last fifteen minutes of the half controlling the midfield and creating more chances in that stretch than in the entire game against Japan. Sadly the finishing has been lacking and Holland took their one really good chance by Ryan Babel and scored. Other chances for the Netherlands have been half chances at best. Football is about taking your chances, but the Dutch look winded and beat down. Halftime could not have come soon enough for them.

Freddy Adu bounced back from a weak first match with a brilliant half. His pace and on the ball skill is making him appear to be a man among boys out on the pitch. Accolades in the first half also need to be given to Sacha Kljestan who has bounced back from a shaky first match by commanding the midfield triggering the domination of the last fifteen minutes.

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