The game was ugly, the result was good, but the fans . . . are gangsta!!!! Four fans broke US law and made their way to Cuba to watch the US’s World Cup Qualifier. The four brave fans wore American Flag bandannas over their face to protect their identities, but it couldn’t hide their enthusiasm. The camera panned over to them repeatedly and caught the four felons chanting and cheering like it was the last USA game they will ever watch.
Unfortunately, that was probably the most exciting part of the game. The performance on the pitch was ugly and disappointing. The US team couldn’t put anything together against a feisty Cuban team. The US team struggled with possession the whole game. It was similar to the Guatemala game in the sense that there was no rhythm and the US looked starved for ideas. Landon was one of the few bright spots, linking up well with other players and was probably the most dangerous player on the field. He played more centrally and was able to get more involved.
Beasley did not have a great match . . . but i think its because he sucks. I’ll say it right now, I’m not a Beasley fan and performances like Saturday nights just reinforces that sentiment. I’m not saying he is a terrible player he just can’t trap, pass, dribble, or shoot. What does he do right? I’ll tell you, his saving grace is his ability to be at the right place and the right time. Usually him being at the right place at the right time leads to him screwing up an attacking sequence or missing a sitter. Anyways, that is enough about Beas.
Maurice Edu also had a bad night. His passes weren’t connecting and timing was just off all night. I’m more forgiving to the younger players. He’s shown that he has great potential and I think a little more seasoning and hopefully he won’t have another night like tonight.
Dempsey scored the lone goal for the Americans, off an excellent set up play by Ching. This is two back to back poor performances for the US. We did get the result from both matches, but I wanted to believe that the US team was at a point where just getting results was not good enough. The US has the talent and the drive to play with more style. The substance is there and I think we just need to clean it up and play a more attractive soccer. I think a discussion about what “style” really means is better saved for another day.
In their defense, the field and weather conditions were not good. The field was not flat and the rain made it very slick. This team hasn’t been scored on since their June 1st, 1-0, loss to Spain. Spain went on to win Euro 2008 tournament later in the summer. They are now on a 5 game unbeaten streak, including a 0-0 tie to Argentina. So it isn’t the end of the world, just tough to watch.
Let me know if you watched the games and your thoughts. Are you happy with the result? How would you evaluate Bob Bradley thus far?