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FIFA Confederations Cup

US 2-3 Brazil: Heartbreak


Dunga got his tactical changes right in the second half and Bob Bradley didn’t adequately make tactical changes to counter the Brazilians. Bradley’s tactics and subs resembled the scared, conservative changes of the last two qualifiers and the first two group games of this event instead of confident superior coaching he demonstrated in the last week.

Bradley deserves praise for the US run but his propensity to favor players he coached at the club level such as Sacha Kljestan remains a major shortcoming of his management style. Bradley will be the US manager for the World Cup in 2010 and perhaps beyond. Any calls to fire him need to end immediately. But his management style needs to evolve. The USSF will not fire Bradley so any discussion of it is further destabilizing the team.

Early in the match with the nation tuned in to football for change the US Men’s National Team had a unique opportunity to make history and win a nation over all at once.

Bob Bradley changed his tactical setup today leaving the flanks unmarked and packing the middle, which represented the opposite of what we saw against Spain. Allowing Brazil to penetrate up the flanks allowed the US to deploy a quick counter attacking scheme through the middle of the pitch.

Jonathan Spector exploited the weakness of Andre Santos on the left side whipping in a great ball to Dempsey that he finished.

Benny Feilhaber’s work rate was good in the first half, but he wasn’t winning the balls or challenging the Brazilians in the same manner as Michael Bradley would have been.

Landon Donovan’s work rate and flair have been remarkable all tournament long. His goal was well deserved for sure.

The second half started badly with Brazil exploiting the Americans lack of ability to defend wide. We didn’t make a tactical change to take away this option especially on the left side until Johnathan Bornstein was inserted in minute 70. This was a good substitution by Bradley but perhaps came too late.

Jose Francisco Torres would have helped today, but clearly he is in the doghouse and thus didn’t play a minute in this competition. Conor Casey doesn’t have the quality to do what Brian Ching can do holding the ball up at this level. That has shown whenever he’s been subbed in.

Bradley gets a look at Kenny Cooper in the Gold Cup and my hope is that he becomes Casey replacement as Ching’s backup.

This game was a bitter disappointment, but at the same time the entire US program was elevated in the last week. That is something we must take pride in.


Howard  7

Spector 7

DeMerit 6

Onyewu 6

Bocanegra 6

Clark 7

Feilhaber 6

Dempsey 7

Donovan 9

Altidore 4

Davies 7

Bornstein 6

Kljestan 4

Casey 5


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  1. Tony

    June 30, 2009 at 11:05 am

    Kartik, for all your delayed but still ridiculuos praise of Bradley you do realize we’ve lost four of our last seven games? In fact we’ve played two good games in our last seven- they happened to come back to back at the right times in a big tournament. But the truth is Bradley is still terribly over his head and this would be a good time with everyone on a high to ask him to step away.

  2. El Tri

    June 30, 2009 at 12:26 am

    bradley lost usa that game.
    sacha kljestan? is that a joke?
    too bad for concacaf. would helped us all if usa had lifted the trophy.
    you will beat us at azteca if you play as you did in first half.
    donovan is amazing. the rest of the usa is reaching his level
    where is torres? maybe now that sven is gone, bradley doesn’t want him anymore.

  3. notafanofbb

    June 29, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    The subs were late and horrible. Sasha didn’t complete any passes and isn’t borstein an outside back?!? At 2-2 aginist Brazil is our best option really to bring on 2 MLS players? I think every time we launched a ball forward we lost possession. Davies and Altidore didn’t win a single header in the second half. Michael Bradley was missed but he would have probably been sent off anyway.

  4. Kartik Krishnaiyer

    June 29, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    Jammer- well said. Brian Zygo wrote a good piece on the absence of Peter Nowak and how it affected the tactics negatively. I still think Bradley’s bad substitutions and decisions in this tournament during games (As I said in 4 of the 5 games Bradley setup with the right tactics but was often out managed during matches) is largely a bi-product of not having a strong #2 like Nowak who could say, “Hey Bob, don’t put Kljestan in, let’s try player X instead.”

  5. josh

    June 29, 2009 at 4:04 am

    bradley does need to go. When his team needed it the most he didn’t do anything he is to blame for the loss. The subs came late and were horrible. Instead of making the team look better they looked worse. Kljestan was horrible he had no control and all but one of his passes were bad. they need to find a better coach if they are to do good in ’10 WC… through out the second half i was so frustrated because he wouldn’t make a sub it was horrible his an idiot..

  6. Jammer

    June 29, 2009 at 1:12 am

    I wouldn’t say that Feilhaber and Davies came out of nowhere. Feilhaber scored the unforgettable winning goal in the gold cup, he hasn’t been playing recently because of injury I think. Plenty of people on the blogs had been begging for Davies to get caps for weeks, it’s more of a wonder why he waited so long.

    The “rest of the story” on Torres only makes sense to me if Torres is injured. A doghouse is no reason to keep your best players off the field.

    I’ll give credit to BB for keeping faith in Dempsey. Some people had been dogging on him especially Harkes.

    Since BB is here to stay, maybe USSF could hire him a good assistant manager and convince BB to listen to some constructive advice.

  7. DA

    June 29, 2009 at 12:01 am

    Bradley needs to go. I really don’t care if USSF won’t do it, it needs to be said over and over and over.

  8. Dave

    June 28, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    the lack of possession definitely killed us in this one. but our midfield is gonna be deeper than ever before and if we could make it this far with our current squad, the future is very bright. just hope the back four stays healthy because we seriously lack depth back there.

    i think unfortunately for the yanks, the success of this tournament raised the fans expectations just a little bit more. they should expect a lot more backlash from fans if they don’t perform up to that standard. but in a way that’s a good thing because it shows that america is serious about the sport.

  9. Brad

    June 28, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    Nobody was guarding the backpost on the corner kick goal by Brazil. I didn’t notice but did the US do this the whole game?

  10. Arnie

    June 28, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    BerkeleyBernie and Fernando have said it: too much long ball. This team can pass, but the MLS-based players are too used to launching the ball and hoping for the best. That is not going to get it done consistently.

    Also, I think Altadore is a second division player for a reason.

    Finally, I am optimistic. We STILL haven’t seen ALL the US MNT’s best players on the field at the same time. Unfortunately, with the Spanish win, there will be no surprising anyone next year.

    PS – I know that the SA horns are kind of a patriotic statement, but the drone is like listening to trace music : thought becomes impossible after a while.

  11. Seybold

    June 28, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    I agree that with Kartik’s critique of BB (Klejstan????!!!!). That said, he got some things very, very right in this tournament:

    * he brought Feilhaber in from essentially nowhere, and handed him a prominent role–this was brilliant
    * he brought in Charlie Davies, whose speed caused plenty of problems for Spain and Brazil, and gave the USA attack another dimension.

    Imagine what these two alone will do against CONCACAF opponents.

    And ask yourself this: do you think this team can win at the Azteca? As critical as we should be of Bradley, it’s obvious this team is more than capable of getting at least a draw there. Because as fun as this tournament has been, if we lose there it’ll likely be a 4-way traffic jam with four matches to go. Get a result there and the coast is likely clear.

  12. BerkeleyBernie

    June 28, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    The US simply doesn’t have an all=team offense. Both US goals were beautiful, especially the perfectly executed Davies-Donovan run, but the US is unable to craft a goal out of possession; it’s all Hail Mary long balls, or counterattack. The midrange passing game was beyond sloppy, with the ball ending on defenders feet 90% of the time, despite the US players being wide open. At this level of play, you’ve got to be able to pass on target for possession when moving the ball up the field. Until that happens, the US will never be a consistent winner at the top level.

  13. Andrew in Detroit

    June 28, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    First things first:
    Today we saw the real state of the US national team. They showed that they have the ability, talent and toughness to play consecutive games against WORLD CLASS teams and truly compete. What I liked about the tournament was that we learned a whole lot about who can and who can not cut it at this level. Donovan, Dempsey, Bradley (Jr.), Onyewu, Spector, Demerit, and the one truly technically GIFTED player we have: Benny Feilhaber, all showed us that they can play against the other top teams in the world. We know Clark can play holding mid-field at this level; we know Bradley Jr. can pair nicely with just about any other mid-fielder we have out there, and we finally have a real physical center back pairing. Now I am not one to place all of the blame on the coach. I think he obviously did something to motivate and inspire the guys to play at the highest level they could. Unfortunately, Coach Bradley’s weaknesses in two specific areas will always inhibit this team’s chances of winning a major championship. First, BB can not evaluate talent very well at this level. Kljestian has not played well for about 10 months. Since he didn’t get his big money move (at least big for him) to Celtic, Sacha has played uninspired football. He has looked very weak for Chivas all season and hasn’t shown any of the promise we saw over the past two years or so. When BB played him during the last WC qualifiers he was our worst player. During the tournament, Sacha showed literally no positives on the field. Now, if there really is no one else to play at mid-field then the decision to play Sacha in the final might be excusable. However, there is a mid-fielder we have that has the ability to trap and pass the ball much better than Sacha ever could. J.F. Torres not only plays but he starts for Pachuca and he is an integral part of their team. How BB hasn’t seen the difference in class between the two players is just unfathomable. Scape goating Torres for the loss to Costa Rica, especially when Torres was our best player in the first half, is the sign of an unexperienced manager. And please do not put Adu in the same sentence with Torres. Sure Adu has potential and talent, but Torres has produced at a high level in Mexico while Adu hasn’t been able to play AT ALL in Europe. Also, the only reason Demerit got the chance to play was because Bocanegra was injured. Demerit has played better in this tournament than Bocanegra has played all during WC qualifiers. Sorry, just frustrated because we should have won this championship. When the team is unexperienced in winning championships I think the team needs to have a coach who IS experienced in winning championships.

  14. eplnfl

    June 28, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    no excuse but I agree with quakesin that some players especially Altidore looked tired. Remember that Altidore is still a kid and was out there on the island so to speak needing to create on his own for the US.

  15. quakesin2kNever

    June 28, 2009 at 9:08 pm


    Re: Altidore’s conditioning. I don’t think he has conditioning problems. I just think the wear and tear of playing balls out 90 minutes per game for 4 high energy games the last 2 weeks took its toll on him. It also took its toll on other players. I actually noticed a lot of the defenders and mids showing it more than Altidore… they were just not pressuring the ball or making as hard of tackles as they did against Spain… they were tired and it showed.

    • Kartik Krishnaiyer

      June 28, 2009 at 10:16 pm

      Agreed. Keep in mind he was basically a single striker for much of the last month- the two qualifers and then the first two games of this tournament. He’s been worn down. Sure we technically played a 4-3-3 in Saprissa and a 4-2-2-2 in Chicago but in reality he was left alone on an island for four straight high level matches. Anyone is going to be worn down.

  16. Phillip

    June 28, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    No one here is at practice for the last month. You can’t say that so-and-so should play over so-and-so unless you’re making the effort of going to every single practice.

    Tactics beat Spain. It helped that they missed their chances.

    Tactics got us ahead of Brazil. It didn’t help that they made their chances.

  17. Jammer

    June 28, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    What do you say when your team is apparently performing above it’s expected ability, and yet he makes mistakes that are so blatant every casual watcher can see them? The subs were late, and one of them was kljestan. Altidore obviously has conditioning problems and needs out sooner. Not enough possession/too many long balls. I don’t have a problem with the Casey sub in that it was on a corner kick and his height was useful on a late must-score situation.

    Bradley may be doing much behind the scenes to motivate and prepare his team that we can’t see. And there is a 0% chance he will be fired after the best tournament result by a US team ever. So I agree calls to fire him are self-defeating. But they are also an outlet for serious frustration. Come on, why is he the last person in the world to figure out that Beasley and Kljestan aren’t playing well? How many losses do we have to take and merely say “at least he won’t play that guy again?” or “At least he’s learned his lesson before the World Cup”. Ball possession! Work on it! And throw fewer long balls, for the tenth time! grr.. By the time he learns this lesson, there might be a new problem and is he going to catch onto that one quicker? It’s been a great tourney but don’t forget it’s 2 wins and 3 losses and the second half of the final was a train wreck.

    Still, congrats to the team and Bradley for getting #2. From the last loss against Brazil, to here, was an amazing journey. And congrats to Brazil.

  18. Joey Clams

    June 28, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    20/20? I was screaming for them at minute 50.

  19. Jack(Vegas)

    June 28, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    Bob Bradley needed to make some subs earlier, but hindsight is 20/20. I would have liked to see Torres in the midfield to help retain possession I hope that Bob Bradley evaluates certain players objectively(klejstan, beasley) and leave them off the squad unless they play well regularly for their club and earn a place on the squad.

    What did in the US was a little lack of organization in defence and an ability to retain possesion under pressure. Brazil played really well in the second half and the US did not. I am proud of the boys in red, white and blue though.

    • Kartik Krishnaiyer

      June 28, 2009 at 10:12 pm

      Their has to be more to the Torres story than meets the eye. Otherwise his continued omission is inexplicable and disturbing.

  20. Casey

    June 28, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    When will the podcast be up??

  21. kyle

    June 28, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    Bob Bradley could have won me over, but then he brought on Kljestan and Bornstein.

  22. Joey Clams

    June 28, 2009 at 6:49 pm


    Perhaps no. But our mentality and grit are not gifts from Bob Bradley. That’s the point: we’re NOT good enough to have a coach with little feel for a game; we ARE good enough to benefit from such a coach.

    Bradley merely reacted. And he was WAY late.

  23. eplnfl

    June 28, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    Phil your on target. No one, no one I repeat should dare even talk of a change at the helm for the USA. Did Bradley go to the bench too late, yes, did he go conservative too soon, yes, did he take the US farther then any of us in our wildest dreams could of anticipated YES! The fact we are talking today about it is a testament to his efforts. Those of you so easy to call for his head, go order a #10 USA jersey and buy a ticket to the Gold Cup and stand and cheer when the US comes onto the field to honor what was just achieved. For the players and coaches valuable lessons and experience has been gained for our next trip to South Africa.

    Stop it. We are not England fans. The US should be pleased that it advanced farther in a major competition then it ever has against the quality temas that we faced. All of our efforts should be how to get us that extra 45 minutes that we did not have today and that we will need next year. We were the best team in the world, yes I said it, for 5 halfs of soccer. One more half and the crown would of been ours. We can play and beat anyone. All of us know it now. There is more work to be done, better tactics and employment of talent, further development of youngsters like Torres and Adu, and making Michael Bradley play smart. Let’s say YES WE CAN!

    I await the podcast and am holding my head up high.

  24. Lars

    June 28, 2009 at 6:28 pm

    This crushed my dreams. Casey wasn’t the problem Lawrence, stop being a twit. The fact is the game was lost when he went into the lineup. Shut up, sit down and recognize that Bradley is to blame for going into bunker mode at half time. Casey didn’t come in until it was the 85th minute, after the game was lost. KTHNXBYE.

    • Kartik Krishnaiyer

      June 28, 2009 at 10:11 pm

      Yup, the Bornstein sub should have been made earlier- the Kljestan and Casey subs shouldn’t have been made.

  25. Lawerence

    June 28, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    Good critiques KArtik- your work has been fantastic all tourney long except for one thing


    • Kartik Krishnaiyer

      June 28, 2009 at 10:10 pm

      Lawerence you are correct. I advocated Casey for two plus years but now realize he looked better in MLS than Germany because the game is slower and the quality lesser. He’s not a national team caliber player right now.

  26. HJAORM

    June 28, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    The subs were horrible and what’s worse is that our guys were still fighting let down by their manager and his crack coaching staff. If Bradley really wanted to move the USMNT forward he’d resign.

    • Kartik Krishnaiyer

      June 28, 2009 at 10:09 pm

      Look as Joey Clams has said my criticism of Bradley are pretty biting. Still because of this tournament and the successes of it, whether due to coaching or not he is going to be our manager and we must support the program. Do I think he’s up to this level? Probably not, but he’s not going to be removed and is certainly not going to resign so let’s move beyond it. His subs are inexplicable in that they always show a loyalty to either guys he coached at the club level or gusy who came through the USSF Development system.

  27. Phillip

    June 28, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    beat the champions of africa 3-0
    beat the champions of europe 2-0
    were beating the champions of south america for 70′

    do we have a player that makes spain or brazil’s 23?

  28. Larry

    June 28, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    Or performances this week show how bad Bradley is- we had FOUR straight bad game sin a row. We are capable of so much more. Like Dommench with France in 06, the players finally took upon themselves to perform and got to the WC final. Like with Domenench this will keep Bradley and we’ll suffer for it.

  29. Joey Clams

    June 28, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    Kartik is still taking shots at Bob. The right shots, too.

  30. erp

    June 28, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    First half was great. Our midfield disappeared in the second half, leaving our defenders to do all the work sending in long balls that Davies and Altidore couldn’t have handled on their best days. The subs came 15 minutes late and taking out Feilhaber for Klejstan neutered any creative spark remaining in the midfield. Connor Casey is a good player, but he’s the guy you bring in at the end of the game when you’re up not when you’re down. Bring in Adu to the midfield and push dempsey up with Davies.

    Great first half. More BB heroics in the second.

  31. Frustrated with Bradley

    June 28, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    Bradley should be fired for his subs alone. But I love how Kartik has flipped because of one win in a tournament Spain didn’t give a damn about.

  32. Ian

    June 28, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    Bradley is totally over his head at this level and I’m ashamed of you Kartik that you have gone into bunker bob mode defending him. What the hell happened to you?

  33. Joey Clams

    June 28, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    The credit definitely goes to Brazil. But, we shouldn’t serve ourselves ups. Torres would have helped. Even Adu could have chased after Altidore – who had a rather poor game – tired.

    There wasn’t a lot to chose from. But more daring choices would have been welcome. And the timing of the subs was WAY off.

    Anyway, if you apply lessons learned, we should be OK.

    By the way, did Brazil celebrate or what? The possibility of losing to us gave this tournament meaning.

  34. Ryan

    June 28, 2009 at 5:56 pm


    I hear you, and agree with you. I was wondering when we were gonna get some subs on, and I was disappointed that we didn’t have players like Mo, Ching, and an unfairly suspended Bradley available to bring on rather than Sacha.

    However, you can’t fault the players for those decisions. They played SO much better than we had seen before, so much harder, so much smarter. They actually looked like a team out there. That Landon goal was a thing of beauty. There are very few goals I’ve seen from the US recently that were as cleanly built up and put away. Maybe Dempsey’s versus Egypt and Jozy’s 2nd against T&T.

    I will agree with the people who say that Bob Bradley isn’t the best possible coach we have. But somehow, whether through his persistence or the media (blog) call outs that Kartik referenced earlier this week, we’ve played two of the best and most complete games in our recent history this past week.

    That’s what I’m taking away from all this.

  35. C Webb

    June 28, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    Joey Clams

    comment wasn’t aimed at you per se, but at a lot of people who just don’t ever seem satisfied.

    The US is where it should be. A second-tier program that is starting to make noise. A win today would have gone a long way towards kicking the door down but it just goes to show that US still has shortcomings to it’s game that will not allow it to progress at the top-tier leve just yet.

    And please, for those of you saying so, give me the substitutions that would have stopped the inevitable one-way traffic from the 1st minute of the second half. I’m not quite sure what coaching brilliance could have prevented that first goal for Brazil. If anything a change at halftime could have gone a long way towards blame for that first goal. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

    And lastly, Brazil was bombing forward for 20 minutes before the subs came in for the US and for 20 minutes after they came in. It didn’t make any difference. Brazil was on a mission and got what they wanted. Just look at their reaction after their goals and after the game was over. That wasn’t the normal “it’s just the US, let’s move on” type of reaction I’ve seen in past matchups. You do that when you know you’ve taken someones best shot and topped them.

    The credit goes to Brazil on this one. They were deserved winners. The US fought bravely but could only go as far as their talent could take them.

  36. Fernando

    June 28, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    Did anyone notice how the team could never complete a long pass in the 2nd half? The US deserved to lose. Complete lack of brain on the team. Especially Howard. Every single goal kick was like saying: Here you go, have this free ball; keep the pressure on us ;)! Seeing that the Strikers could not win the the long balls in the air, why continue the same tactic over and over again?

    I think the best decision Bradley has made during this entire tournament was keeping Beasley on the bench. After that, Bob Bradley seems as lost as a Mexican in the Arizona desert. He is a total air head. Bob can’t get anything through his thick skull.

    Who is Conor Casey? Where did he come from? What did he do to deserve a spot on the NT? Let alone the Confed Final. As a sub against Spain, he was amazingly slow. He looked like he was more prone to tripping over his feet than a threat to the Spanish defense.

    This mess makes me want to start lacing my boots and show Sunil and Bob how this sport was meant to be played.

  37. kyle

    June 28, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    Casey is good in MLS playing against MLS players. But against Brazil, he has no buisness being on the field.

  38. Pumas Fan

    June 28, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    It was unfortunate to lose this one after being up 2 – nil. It seemed that Dunga figured out how best to spread the defense and utilize Brazil’s spot on, precision passing to slowly dissect the U.S. defense. Bocanegra now seems like the weak link on the back line to me. He is regularly out of position and out of sorts. Also, while I enjoyed Failhaber’s play way more than Klejstan, it is clear that Edu is sorely missed and that Jermaine Jones would help out a lot, as well.
    Also, I am continually surprised at all of the hate aimed at Conor Casey. If you’ve seen him play in the MLS, you know why he is on the MNT. It is not his fault that he is brought in with 10 minutes left. Bring in Donovan the way that Casey has been used as a sub in this tournament and he would have been equally innefective.
    Bob Bradley is not the anti-christ. There are many things he does right. I doubt the team would have rebounded the way they did after the first two matches without him being able to pull the team back together. Having said that, my main and continual gripe with Bob Bradley is his poor use of subs (like the way he uses Casey) and how he tends to not utilize certain players to their strengths. For example, Conor Casey is not the kind of player whom you can sub late. Put him in at the start of the match or at the half or not at all. Don’t put him in with 10 or 15 minutes left when we are down a goal. Ideally, he needs to start matches where he can begin to find the weak spots in a defense and he needs another forward to play off of, much like what Davies has brought to Altidore’s game. He should never be put in as the lone forward the way he was when he was subbed in against Italy. Casey would best be utilized in matches where his size (such as in CONCACAF matches) could help to create space for the speedier strikers like Donovan and Davies. He is never going to win praise for his defense. Never. So why then, is he utilized mostly in matches where we are down a goal? That is a completely wrong use of Casey’s unique talent. It’s the same classic blunder as asking DaMarcus Beasley to play at left back. It’s the basketball equivalent of asking Spud Webb to play Center. Utilize him to his trenghts. Learning WHEN and WHOM to sub is one matter, but knowing a players abilities and how best to utilize them is another and I think Bob Bradley repeatedly earns a D- in this aspect of the art of Coaching.

  39. Joey Clams

    June 28, 2009 at 5:28 pm


    I hear you. But we let that game get away. I was screaming for a sub at the 55 minute mark.

    By the time the subs were make, the game had slipped away. And the subs were really the wrong guys.

  40. quakesin2kNever

    June 28, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    The poor subs wouldn’t have been as much of a problem if Michael Bradley didn’t get that red card, b/c then our first off the bench guy would be feilhaber not klijestan.

    Great effort by the boys but I think even if BB used same tactics as in the Spain game it wouldn’t have worked. Some of the guys were looking tired and worn by the 30th minute, the whole team was dead by the 55th minute. No way could they have kept up the same amount of defensive pressure as they did vs. Spain. This tournament clearly took its wear and tear on the team. Shows how important it is to use your bench more in the group stage to preserve the starters for the break rounds.

    PS: The pub I went to had about 150-200 people in it, almost as many as for the champions league final. Soccer is growing!

  41. Joey Clams

    June 28, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    Bradley was way late with the subs. Then he put in the wrong guys. We’re not good enough to be stuck with such poor game management.

    And, by the way, I DO get it.

  42. Andrew

    June 28, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    Kartik, shortcoming? More like a fireable offense. Period.

    We’ve let is slip through our fingers because of the coaching. But even you the best critic of the USMNT goes native simply calling it a shortcoming!

  43. Ryan

    June 28, 2009 at 5:16 pm


    In the end the US lost because Brazil is head and shoulders a better team than the US. It’s a shame that’s the case, but not many teams can beat Brazil when they go into “Eff you, we’re Brazil” mode.

    I agree with you about everything else though. I can’t put in to words how proud I am of the US team though. They fought so hard, they played like we’ve asked for, but even with that you aren’t going to win every game.

    I’m very proud to be a USA fan right now, proud we showed we can compete with top teams on our best day, and proud that the USA had the heart to go out there and fight when everyone said (three straight games, no less) that everything was hopeless.

    Nobody was mad at George Mason for getting bounced in the Final 4 a few years ago, they were ecstatic that a team no one in the big media was giving respect to beforehand had showed that they were willing and able to go out there and fight against the best of ’em. I feel the same way about the US.

    The future is so much brighter than it looked a month ago. There’s no reason to be disappointed.

  44. Dave

    June 28, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    proud of our boys on the pitch. disappointed with BB however. sure hope he’s not playing chivas usa favorites with kljestan and bornstein.

    in the end, i think the US lost because they couldn’t maintain possession and gave the ball away too easily. we did a great job countering in the first half but the second half those counters sorta stopped. wished the yanks could’ve slowed the game down and kill the clock with possession but that didn’t happen.

    overall, the tournament was a big positive for the US. we seemed to play more as a team now and i have more confident in the team going into 2010 now than i did a month ago. sure hope BB’s read subbing 101 by then.

  45. C Webb

    June 28, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    I guess some people will never be satisfied.

    Beat Spain 2-0 to get to the final?

    Meh, we should have won 4-0

    Take Brazil’s best shot and narrowly lose in the final?

    Yup, Fire Bradley.

    Some people will never get it….

  46. Robert

    June 28, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    I’ll save my post-mortem for a few days. Today, I just want to revel in the experience of watching our boys playing a competitive and exciting tournament final. Kudos to Donovan, my USA player of the tourney. May the sting of losing spur all US players to step it up for the rest of qualifying and WC2010.

  47. Ace

    June 28, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    I agree on the subs. Late and pathetic. Bradley was over his head today.

  48. Julius

    June 28, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    I know Casey is technically a forward but he’s not the forward to bring on, in fact I know Altidore didn’t do much this match but Casey hasn’t done jack this tournament. Which of course brings me to Kljestan. I think he completed one pass and gave away six. The team did so much and it is so heartbreaking especially going ahead by two goals. I think what hurts so much is the that the team did quite a bit to win but the tactical changes by Bradley hurt more than helped. How can Bradley and the coaching staff hate Torres so much? Did Torres say something about the staff after the Costa Rica match? I mean he didn’t even get called to the Gold Cup roster. This just hurts.

    Congratulations to you the US team.

  49. Matilda

    June 28, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    The first half was lovely lovely stuff from the US but in the end Brazil deserved to win. Definitely heartbreaking

  50. kyle

    June 28, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    It was a great ride but it is time for Bob Bradley to go. Even if we would have won I still would have said it. Just like in the Italy game, Brazil make two subs and Bob Bradley does nothing. Bocanegra had his usual blooper on Brazils second goal. Conor Casey is terrible. Bornstein and Kljestan I still cannot believe that is who Bob Bradley brought on.

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