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Gold Cup

Grenada 0-4 USA: July Fourth Masterpiece


Don’t let the skeptics tell you Grenada is a poor opponent. This side qualified for the Gold Cup by beating World Cup 2006 and current Hexagonal participant Trinidad and Tobago. This is also a team that gave Costa Rica such a scare in the second round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying that Hernan Medford was sacked as the Ticos manager.

It should be noted however that Grenada is without Jason Roberts and Shalrie Joseph in this tournament. But nonetheless a motivated American “B +” squad destroyed a normally competitive Grenada squad to celebrate Independence Day.

The US performance was impressive to say the least. Bob Bradley got his squad selection and tactics right today. Robbie Rogers and Heath Pearce ran free on the left side while Freddy Adu and Stuart Holden complemented each other well. But the decision to not play Adu in the Confederations Cup by Coach Bob Bradley can easily be justified by the number of poor passes Adu made tonight as well as how easily he was disposed when he tried to dribble past defenders.

Clarence Goodson and Chad Marshall were tremendous inside and Troy Perkins saved the one really good chance Grenada had.

Charlie Davies looked a little tentative early playing with a totally new set of players after a great Confederations Cup.   But late in the first half and early in the second half he stepped up big.

Davy Arnuad brought some energy and pace when he was inserted late in the match. This was an impressive and comprehensive win for the United States. Bob Bradley has shown that not only can he get his tactics right, but he can turn a completely different eleven (or ten plus Charlie Davies) around in six days after an 8,000 mile trip and still excel.

The US faces a Honduran B- side Wednesday at RFK Stadium. Surely the crowd at RFK will be pro Honduras as it was in the 2001 qualifier, the last competitive US loss on home soil.

Expect to see Brian Ching on Wednesday as well as Kenny Cooper. I am told Ching does not want to play on turf unless absolutely necessary (a wise decision indeed) and with the final group game at Gillete Stadium this may be his only chance to play at this stage of the tournament. Additionally, Charlie Davies and Freddy Adu both looked less than sharp after the long journey from South Africa and it would probably be wise to rest both.

However, it is possible Ching and Davies will be starting together in the World Cup up top, so any game action the two can get together would be helpful at this point in time. We may also see Luis Robles on Wednesday night.

The only negative of this game is that the US second stringers showed they can break down a bunkered, defensive minded opponent much more easily than the USA “A” team. The sort of daring runs and crosses that Rogers made early we never see against the likes of Guatemala, Cuba and El Salvador on the road in tough qualifiers. Perhaps the metality that Rogers, Holden and other youngsters brought today needs to be bottled and given the US “A” team when facing CONCACAF opposition.


Perkins     7

Cherdundolo  7

Goodson   7

Marshall  7

Pearce  9

Pause  8

Beckerman 8

Rogers 9

Holden 8

Adu 6

Davies 6

Evans  6

Arnaud 7

Parkhurst  6

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  1. soccer goals

    July 7, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    Rogers and Holden played great games.

  2. Gene Williams

    July 6, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    You seem to forget that scoring is the name of the game and Adu scored
    once but he hit the post twice leaving him just inches from getting a hat trick. What would your comments be if he had succeded??? Give him credit and give him some slack. He will be an awesome player with some playing time.

  3. erp

    July 6, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    Adu’s passing was off because he isn’t comfortable. He isn’t comfortable because he hasn’t been played. He still has more touch and imagination than anyone on the USMNT roster.

    Everyone is saying what a great job Beckermann did. He was effective. But he could be great. With more playing time and experience he could be an extremely effective holding midfielder. Valderama style.

    Rogers is a phenom. I can’t explain how he found the confidence to do what he did. But if he can keep it up, we may have an American Ryan Giggs at our disposal.

    We have shown that we do have depth. Now Bradley needs to spend the next 12 months making sure those guys get experience and that our first string players stay match fit. It’s gonna be tough. I don’t envy his job.

  4. Jack(Vegas)

    July 6, 2009 at 3:19 am

    Should Adu have followed up his shot? Yes, but that is something you should be able to fix in a day, if you are a coach of any ability.

  5. Jack

    July 5, 2009 at 11:54 pm

    I agree with Jake’s assessment on Adu. I thought Adu looked pretty darn good. The one thing I saw that really pissed me off about his play is when he quits after making a shot that doesn’t quite work out I saw him do this twice. The most notable was the play where he hit the corner of the crossbars and just turned around pouting and holding his head when he should have been hustling to follow up his shot. That is so amateurish and self-absorbed behavior. Stop thinking about yourself and hustle and try and help your team win the game. The match is about the team not yourself!!

  6. Kartik Krishnaiyer

    July 5, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    Agreed Peter. The tolerance of turf by FIFA and MLS is not acceptable. But for the record the USSF NEVER plays games on turf anymore for matches they schedule. Additionally, Bob Bradley to his credit has been very outspoken about turf saying he hates it. It’s possible when Bradley is gone the US will return to scheduling games on turf, but right now its only FIFA/CONCACAF scheduled games we play on the stuff.

    As I said in the piece, I have been told by two very good sources that Brian Ching is done playing on turf unless it is absolutely necessary. Good for him: we need more top american players to take a stand like that. He won’t say it in public but has let his feeling be known to his coaches and team mates which is a very stand up thing for him to do IMHO.

    The sad part is Ching may be forced to play on turf at some point this tournament because of the number of potential games the US could play on the junk.

  7. peter osgood

    July 5, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    The results and performance are lost on another fake pitch. Notice how many sliding challenges were made in the entire match? Go back and watch any of the confedertions cup matches and see how much of a proper football match is played whilst sliding into a tackle – what a tackle in football is – or a 5O 5O ball, or a cross or attempt to reach a cross in the box etc.

    I cringed watching Davies attempt to run full out as he did so brilliantly in SA, and often pulling up on runs to protect himself, and pulling up on concrete can cause as much ligament damage as running fullstop. It’s such complete nonsense.

    It’s not football, it’s a different sport entirely. Nothing is gained for the US football movement by this match, nor is anything gained by a new member of MLS playing their matches in an NFL ground. It’s cheap, short sighted and pathetic.

    Heath Pierce is complete crap. I’d rather see whoever it is from the excellent under 17’s get a look, someone who has promise and can actually make a difference in the program. Goodson is hopeless as well, whilst at Dallas he showed a complete lack of any explosiviness or decent athleticism and gets beat by any marginally good run made by an opposing striker.

    For all the talent Mr. Adu has, and ability to read the game and ability to deliver excellent free kicks or very good balls into space, he’s lost all confidence in traffic due to lack of competitive football. Even if he ends up in the third division of French football – a significantly more productive football experience then MLS matches – and getting consistent first team football, he needs it now.

  8. eplnfl

    July 5, 2009 at 7:27 am

    The short story on this game is that the US did what it had to and what was expected to do. We can not always say that about our teams performances in the Gold Cup or WC early round qualifications against some of the smaller counties in the region. Go back to 2007 and look at some of the rough spots we had in the Gold Cup. Last night we none of that. It was a US dominated game from the start to finish.

    Our depth is now such that we can overpower the teams from smaller nations without doing much more then selecting the right players to the squad. Bradley haters and doubts may complain about this but the National Team head coach should be in charge of player development. This job Bradley does well and I doubt if any of the foreign big name coaches who people would like to see take the job would care about what coming up but just what they have to work with now.

    So, a good night for the US.

  9. Jake

    July 5, 2009 at 2:24 am

    Sorry Kartik but I disagree with some of what you said. I was at the game and trying to keep a rational opinion about Adu. He really only blew about four or five passes that he should have done better at. For sure one of them was a miscommunication. What I did notice is that his one touch passing was pretty darn good. Most of the time, what I saw, was Freddie putting the ball to someone i.e. possession, which we all know is lacking at times for the USA. He scored, he played several good balls that were dangerous and he kept the ball moving quickly throughout the match.

    As for the negative, he did look tired at times. When you watch him play he seems to look like he is a bit carefree out there. He certainly does not have the intensity that some players have and his work rate was nowhere near what Donovans was at confederations. I am not sure, but he looks like he is just trying to be mature or a smart player instead of going 100 mph every moment. There were definitely times he could have made something out of a ball if he would have gone 100% on a run. Instead he just kind of petered out. I think we should also take note that he was playing pretty high up tonight. Since the US had 90% of the possession he was sitting around the eighteen a lot with his back turned to goal. There were really only two times I remember him getting knocked off the ball and once or twice going for headers where there should have been a taller forward instead of him.

    I think it is a mistake to bench him. What he needs to do is play. He needs to get 90 min fit. We were all blasting the Confed cup team before they all turned around their performances. For goodness sakes, we have seen 4 or 5 games of Sasha and Beasley to know they should be out. Maybe what Adu needs is 3 to 5 games in a row with the team to shape up. The talent is there so lets give him a go but if this is the best we get out of him tonight, then yeah lets bench him.

    The other stand out players were Rodgers and Holden. Rodgers did great attacking up the wing and Holden looked really good bringing the ball out and into the offence. I thought Beckerman was good too. He looked sharp for the first half but made some sloppy plays in the second. Obviously we can not really rate the defense and Perkins because they were barely in the game. Perkins could have ordered a pizza and passed it round to his backs for most of the game.

  10. quakesin2knever

    July 5, 2009 at 1:16 am

    Good to see Rogers do well. Wish Torres had been on this roster so we could see him play more.

    Maybe Adu is rusty from being benched so much by his club team like Beasely. Not good. He needs to get on a club team that will play him asap.

  11. Lars

    July 5, 2009 at 12:33 am

    It’s easy to be clinical when you play at home and have a deeper squad than everybody else…

  12. Mario V.

    July 4, 2009 at 11:52 pm

    Good performance by the Yanks especially, Beckerman, Rogers and Holden.

  13. Angry USA Fan

    July 4, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    Beckerman clearly demonstrated tonight why he should play ahead of Sacha Kljestan. Technique is better, poise is better and ultimately the quality isn’t even comparable.

  14. Eric

    July 4, 2009 at 11:44 pm

    I agree with your last paragraph.

    More importantly the reason I still favor Pearce at left back is he can get up and down the flanks and gives good service on crosses which Bocanegra and Bornstein DO NOT DO.

    The opposition was overmatched but I take your points well. The US typically dare I say always struggles against the Guatemala type teams that play this style of sitting back. Moreover Grenada has some size which alot of the latin teams don’t have and thus they are tougher to swing crosses in against. A very very good effort.

    Now we determine whether our B team is better than Honduras B team!

  15. twayward

    July 4, 2009 at 11:38 pm

    “Don’t let the skeptics tell you Grenada is a poor opponent.” And don’t let people who drink the Kool Aid tell you the US Men’s National Team played “a masterpiece.” A very professional and clinical effort against a CLEARLY subpar Grenada side. Well done, USMNT!

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