Sunday, October 10, 2010

US 2 - 2 Poland: A few surprises, not much learned

The US Mens National Team hosted Poland (if you can call it hosting when probably 65% of the crowd was Polish) and played to a 2-2 draw in a game that featured some lineup and formation experimentation.

You can find great write-ups of the action here and here, so I won't focus on that. Suffice to say that I was happy with how the US attacked, we need to finish chances better, and the two goals we allowed were both the fault of awful clearances due to our roster changes, and I'm not at all worried about that becoming an issue for the first-team USMNT in the future. You can watch the goals below to get a little better idea of how it went.

Instead, here's a list of good and bad things I got from this game:

The Good
-A new formation! It didn't go great, which you'd expect with a first time change, but I'm glad to see Bob experimenting.
-Stuart Holden built on his recent club form and went the full 90, putting in dangerous balls, and continuing to look like a big piece for the team's future. He's going to force his way onto the field soon.
-Benny Feilhaber looking good when he had the ball, but it would've been nice to see him with it a little more.
-Jermaine Jones is fitting in well out there. His ball to Altidore for the first goal was first class.
-Steve Cherundolo...UNBELIEVABLE. Can we freeze Dolo in time for 4 years?

The Bad
-The center backs were not what we would've hoped for. Edu rightfully looked like a guy playing out of position (not that he doesn't have great potential as a CB, but he's not there now) and Gooch still looks bad. That missed clearance for the first goal was TERRIBLE.
-For a game that allows 6 substitutes, there were way too few subs and the single was was pretty bad. If the last two games have shown anything, Alejandro Bedoya is not an international right now. Also, Eric Lichaj deserved a cap.
-I'm still not 100% sold with Jozy's lone-striker abilities. His one goal was great as was his rocket off the cross bar, but there is still a lot of his game going towards the net that needs improving.

So what do I expect for the game Tuesday against Colombia? Well, given the single sub and Bocanegra going back to France, I think it'll be a very different lineup.

I expect the backline to be
with Parkhurst and Lichaj getting minutes. If Gooch was getting time with Milan I think he sits, but he really needs all the minutes he can get right now.

Similar to Gooch I think Jozy gets the start again due to needing minutes, but GAM (that's Grown Ass Man for you non-hip cats) Eddie Johnson comes in for action as well.

The midfield should be fairly similar to start with, but change a lot at half. Brek will get minutes but I don't think he starts. It's hard to see Bradley not playing, but I think we'll get to see some Edu/Jones D-mid pairing as well. I also wouldn't be surprised to see Holden slide back there for a bit if 2 of  Jones, Edu and Bradley are off, opening up another chance for Bedoya to try and look good on the wing.

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