Saturday, January 20, 2007
US vs. Denmark Recap
Bob Bradley steered his boys to a 3-1 victory over Denmark today. Taking into consideration that this was the first time that this group played on the field together, you have to be pretty pleased with the result. We held the ball pretty well in midfield, were a bit tentative and unsure in the back and had a tough time cracking the Danish defense. Well, we had a tough time until the second half that is. 4 players had their first caps ever. 2 of them scored. The future may look a little bright...
Thoughts on individual performances:
1. Eric Wynalda: Managed to offend the entire country of Norway, Ricardo Clark, and Landon Donovan. Good day for Eric.
2. Bruce Arena: Apparently a little bitter at US Soccer but very vocal in his support of Bradley during the broadcast.
3. Rob Stone: Really likes the word interim. If I have to hear that Bradley is the interim head coach one more time I might just puke.
1. Bornstein, Jonathan: Made his debut at left back, nutmegged only once, beat a few more times, scored the go-ahead goal. Welcome to the big leagues. I think this guy is here to stay.
2. Albright, Chris: Poor clearance led to only goal against US. Continually beat on the wing. Hair
is getting tiresome. Not Chris' best showing.
3. Namoff, Bryan: Came in late. No major impact.
4. Johnson, Eddie: Did he even break a sweat? Seriously, I don't know where the fire or work effort is in this guy. Needs to change his on field demeanor and presence before I get behind him.
5. Donovan, Landon: Maybe he is a pansy? He gets hit once in the second half and disappears for 30 minutes. Had some moments of hope but he is far from the leader people hope him to be. Arena had some pretty candid criticisms. The PK he put in should have been saved. Appears to possibly have major confidence issues as evidenced by a very long prayer before that PK.
6. Jaqua, Nate: I like Nate but he didn't do much this game. Looked potentially really dangerous in the air and had a good work rate. Needs to find ways to get involved.
7. Conrad, Jimmy: Steady organization in the back with the armband on. I love watching his feet move when he defends. Great back story too.
8. Clark, Ricardo: I need more presence out of my center mids. I've seen him do it in the MLS and am hoping he will find more comfort as he plays.
9. Beckerman, Kyle: Took a pretty decent shot toward the end of the game. Didn't play all that much to make much of an impact. Are we ready for another dreadlocked player? Didn't they retire that when Cobi finally didn't get asked back? Are we in store for another glamour shot like you see to the right?
10. Rolfe, Chris: Great work ethic. Involved in setup of PK that gave us our first goal. Should think of trying facial hair so that he looks older than 13. Had some strong creative moments and is showing promise.
11. Pearce, Heath: Came in towards the last quarter. Sets up an assist. Solid defense. Attacked from the back. I would like to see some more of him.
12. Cooper, Kenny: He's a giant. And he showed great composure on his breakaway. Good calm finish. Let's get this man some more playing time.
13. Mapp, Justin: Game changer. Came in the second half and decided to dribble around some Danes and set up Bornstein's goal. I can see him becoming a great attacking midfielder for us.
14. Boswell, Bobby: Had some nervous moments but overall had a strong game defensively. Needs to improve his distribution.
15. Reis, Matt: I like my goalies more confident and I just felt like he seemed nervous. Could he have stopped that header that went in?
16. Mastroeni, Pablo: Solid in the middle. Poor decision on the yellow card tackle from behind. He was a steady presence in the center and helped shore up some sketchy moments throughout.
Bob Bradley: Needs to be careful coming off the bench after we score, he almost bit it. Gets a great result and makes his first strong statement that the "interim" approach should not stick.