USA beats Italy for first time

Clint Dempsey USA Italy (Getty Images)


The U.S. men's national team entered its match against Italy having never beaten the Azzurri, going 0-7-3 in games dating back to 1934.

That winless streak ended on Wednesday.

The Americans defeated Italy, 1-0, for the first time off a second-half goal from Clint Dempsey in front of small crowd at Stadio Comunale Luigi Ferraris in Genoa. The goal came in the 55th minute when Jozy Altidore brought down a cross from left back Fabian Johnson and played a short pass to Dempsey, who hit a low shot past Gianluigi Buffon for his 25th international goal.

The result marked the U.S. team's fourth straight victory, their second consecutive on European soil and Jurgen Klinsmann's fifth as U.S. head coach. The United States also improved their record under Klinsmann to 5-4-1 with the win.

Playing in their new, blue away jerseys, the Americans put forth a defensively-disciplined performance playing in a 4-2-3-1 formation. The Italians were whistled for offsides nine times in a game that saw Klinsmann deploy Johnson at left back in his third appearance for the United States.

The hosts still managed to enjoy the majority of the chances in the game, including on a close range effort from Thiago Motta that was kick-saved by Tim Howard in the fourth minute.

Unfortunately for the Italians, the U.S. defense bent but never broke.

Johnson's surging runs forward, Howard's saves and Michael Bradley's command of the midfield helped blank Andrea Pirlo and the hosts in a first half that saw Italy repeatedly try to beat the U.S. defense with balls played in over the top.

The frustration for Italy continued in the second half, as Bradley and central midfielder partner Maurice Edu closed down the space in front of the back four. The United States also benefited from the energy of substitutes Terrence Boyd, who made his international debut in the match, and Jonathan Spector.

That defensive effort allowed the Americans to put together some nice passing sequences against the run of play, including on the decisive one in the 55th minute.

On that play, Bradley hit Johnson with a pass down the left flank before Johnson pinpointed Altidore with a right-footed cross. Altidore took a touch on the ball and then fed Dempsey just inside the top of the penalty area for the winner.

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206 Responses to USA beats Italy for first time

  1. MC says:


    Very solid playing by Johnson, Williams, Edu…

    Except for the last 15 minutes, possession seemed a lot more even than the stats show.

    Second biggest story of the night is Boyd’s debut before even playing for his senior club.

  2. CommonSense says:

    Michael Bradley was utterly brilliant.

  3. emman says:

    one of the best games i’ve ever seen bradley play

  4. Felix says:

    F Johnson at LB was impressive. I think we need to see more of that than Chandler playing there. Goodson did better than I thought he would, he improved throughtout the game. The vets like Bocanegra, Howard, Bradley, and Dempsey were impressive like always.

    Edu broke up play well, didn’t have alot going forward.

    In his little stint Spector did really well too.

  5. Luis Bueno says:

    Overall poor perfromance, but I really could care less as long as we win.

    What I did like was laughing at the Italians after missing so many chances and being called offsides, that was quite hilarious.

  6. Cris says:

    Great result for the boys, their playing better under Klinnsmann. I cant wait to see Chandler, Donovan, Onyewu, and Holden get into the mix, with Donovan we may have scored more goals today. F. Johnson can definitely be the solution at left back, great showing by him and the team.

  7. jon says:

    tim howard.

  8. chris says:

    Solid peformance by the US. Still think Altidore could use a partner up top. He did alright in the 2nd half. Bradley was extremely dominant today. Definetly should be our starting CDM. I thought the game was very sloppy but its good for the US to grind out some results now and then but it was too defensive for me. Johnson looked very good at LB would love to see him continue these good showings.

  9. A wise man once said says:

    Even more impressive since we were without Donovan.

  10. CPTKevin says:

    Hope this wasn’t a “leap year / leap day” fluke. Don’t wanna have to wait 4 more years to beat Italy again. :-)

  11. dibo says:

    Bradley’s role was exactly the same as his role in Chievo’s 4-3-1-2. Sit in the middle and create. USA is building a team with strong athletes on both flanks, skill in the middle, and good play up front. Looks good to me – overall not flashy but strong and effective.

  12. kurgen99 says:

    I’ve been begging for a Bradley/Edu midfield for a long time.

    Michael Bradley was SOLID!!

  13. Tyler says:

    Hopefully we can get our players healthy, that would allow us to build on the things that we did well during this match.

  14. bottlcaps says:

    More than happy for Klinsmann. He is slowly but surely getting to know the US based and the Euro-based players. His next step is to get more MLS players on the Euro team and more Euro players on the US teams integrated into a strong unified team.

    Had the US had Donovan playing on the wing in place of Shea, I think it would not have been as nail-biting for the US as they gave up the ball a LOT under the azzurri pressure.

    For a patchwork team, it was eye-opening and Klinsmann’s first big scalp. Kudos all around

  15. elgringorico says:

    and Edu was pretty good too. It seemed that MB was pushing up much more while leaving Edu back as a 5th defender. MB distributed perfectly and got back and broke up passes when he needed to.

  16. Stephen says:

    The team’s inability or unwillingness to man-mark Pirlo was pretty frustrating, as he basically orchestrated the entire Italian attack un-harassed for 90 minutes.

    Happy with the result, though. Bradley played very well.

  17. JMart says:

    Bradley was a beast. Howard was great.

    Flashes of good ball movement, but lost possession stupidly. Those long balls over the top were scary at times. Overall good job.

  18. Clover362 says:

    Bradley showed again he is one of the best players in the us pool, easily right up there with Donavan and Dempsey. Can’t wait to hear what all the Bradley haters on this site have to say.

  19. malkin says:

    “Second biggest story of the night is Boyd’s debut before even playing for his senior club.”

    And it showed

  20. kurgen99 says:

    I think the defense was solid. Hard to get offense going with a loan forward.
    As you said, good RESULT!!

  21. Dinho says:

    Spot on.

  22. Sam says:

    poor performance? are you serious?

  23. kurgen99 says:

    I totally agree.

  24. Carlito says:

    Jozy with ANOTHER assist.

  25. Brett says:

    Let me first say I was a Bradley skeptic at times under Coach Bob. There were times when Mikey was not getting club minutes and still was playing, and was not playing well. I still feel like that was deserved. HOWEVER, today he was brilliant. I can see why he has earned the nickname “General”. He did everything, and did it well. I was gushing during the game, particularly at his technique. So much better, even in tight spaces. There were countless times where he secured possession in a 50/50 simply by using his feet to turn the ball away from the defender while keeping his balance. I wish he could pass this on to some of our other players.

    Huge win for the team and Dempsey’s goal was a moment of pure brilliance. The run and the placement of the shot were both great. The guys will surely buy-in to Klinsi’s approach now.

    Fabian is the answer at LB. He was on point all night and his secondary assist on the goal was fantastic. As much as I hate to say it, Cherundolo should give way for Chandler.

    Altidore was okay. Obviously his assist on the goal was class, but overall I thought he was weak. Hold up play has improved a bit but he still does not seem to use his strength enough.

    I’m still not sold on Brek Shea. He ruins so many attacks with careless giveaways. He got into a good position a few times, but flubbed the shot every time.

    And can we please stop with the Tim Howard long boots? Every time we back passed to him he gave away possession with a long ball. So frustrating.

  26. Gnarls says:

    Clint Dempsey.

    Am I playing right?

  27. BamaMan says:

    Bradley definitely changed my mind about him today. Same for Boca, who until this game I felt like had been slipping a good bit and getting a little creaky. Dominant performances by both. Jozy was inconsistent but when he was on man was he on. Dempsey his usual gutsy self. Awesome win.

  28. Kevin says:

    Dempsey = Gangsta!

  29. TomG says:

    I have a transcript of Klinsi’s halftime conversation with Jozy:

    Klinsi: “Stop falling down.”

    Jozy: “Okay.”

  30. Luis Bueno says:

    Yes, that was a poor showing of attacking football Klinsy promised.

  31. Mig22 says:

    actually, MB plays more of a right defensive mid position, similar to where Williams spent much of his day today. Just in the last game he played, Chievo moved him more central and even onto the left side for a bit.

    But you’re right that his ROLE was similar, to play solid positionally and distribute the ball well. He certainly did that.

  32. Ron Davis says:

    “…Io sono di juventus, dovremmo parlare…”
    Michael Bradley’s agent’s voicemail tomorrow morning….

  33. Spank says:

    Awesome result for the USA! Not happy with the play from D. Williams. Thought he was the least effective. MB had another amazing game for team USA. Def deserves his spot in the starting line up.

  34. RS says:

    Agreed, his performance was key to the USA playing confidently today

  35. Michael Stypulkoski says:

    You made me do a lol. +1 for you.

  36. Michael Stypulkoski says:

    What exactly are you agreeing with?

  37. Brett says:

    Agree. He tried running at players at least.

  38. Mark says:

    Italy 10 offsides – USA 1 goal. ‘nuf said

  39. Tim M. says:

    That left back spot is Fabian Johnson’s, no question.

    Shea was somewhat disappointing.

    I know he was probably exhausted with the training camps and the flights, but it’s his inability to take people one on one that bugs me.

  40. RS says:

    Agreed on Tim Howard
    (I didn’t Gnarls’ reply to jon).

  41. Brett says:

    I couldn’t believe they didn’t praise our flat back line ONCE during the commentary. We got a couple of lucky-ish calls, but most of them were solid step-ups.

  42. Bosingwa's Unibrow says:

    this fkn guy

  43. JW says:

    Does this mean we can move Chandler up to RM?

  44. Jason says:

    Johnson was greatness, and I think he just might be the guy for left back. Cherundolo has been fanastic for the team throughout his service, but in 2014 the guy is going to be what, 35? If he can keep pace, fantastic, but I would like to see a setup with Chandler as RB and Johnson at LB.

    I’d give Shea time, he’s still young. He just needs to settle himself.

  45. TomG says:


    Jozy 2d half
    Organization of the back 4
    Pretty good possession game
    We finally beat the Azzurri!!

    Jozy 1st half
    Brek’s turnovers
    Italy beat us in scoring chances by a wide margin.

    I also am nervous about the heavy reliance on the offside trap. It puts the game in the hands of the officials who are often not kind to the USA. Considering the competition and no Donovan and no Gooch, though, did we have a choice, but to play bunker ball and offside trap?

  46. Michael Stypulkoski says:

    But all he did was write Howard’s name, he didn’t make any comment on his performance! haha I’m just yankin’ your chain. Howard was a beast today. Even if nearly all of Italy’s shots were called offside, he didn’t know it before making the save.

  47. Kosh says:

    You sound so much like Lalas, who never passes any chance to question/challenge or even take a shot at JK. Did you seriously think we were going to attack ITALY at ITALY? We did what we were supposed to do and did that quite well. So calling the effort a “poor” showing seems a tad bit too much to me.

  48. Thebumswillalwayslose says:

    Not pretty, but it worked. Solid shifts from Timmy, Dolo, Boca, Goodson and Mo. Deuce with a great finish. All things to be expected from those guys, at this point.

    In terms of the good stuff:

    Bradley with a MOTM performance, in my opinion. He looked completely comfortable with his role and seemed in control of things the majority of the match. We have a lot of questions going into WC qualifying. He’s not one of them. Dude starts. Period.

    Fabian Johnson is the truth. LW, LB, whatever. Just get the kid on the field.

    The not so good:

    Aside from Jozy’s great hold-up play and lay off pass to Deuce on the goal, he was frustrating. Too much flailing around for me.

    Danny Williams isn’t cut out for the wing. He works hard and has a good motor, but he’s a defensive midfielder or a CB, not a winger.

    Shea’s desire to take people on was impressive. His ability to actually do it… not so much. Still think Brek has a bright future, but today was a rough one.

    All in all, we got the win and that’s what counts. Stoked on that.

  49. Justinv says:

    Poor performance? Really? Are you Alexi lalas’ little bros? We may not have dominated, but neither did ITALY. We kept our shape, defended well and created a few chances and we made the most almost of them. Almost any team in the world would have bunkered in for the last ten minutes. A slight handful would have added an insurance goal. Some would hold on and most would have conceded the equaliser. This was anything but a poor performance.

  50. Taylor says:

    What’s you Starting XI if everyone is healthy?


  51. tjones says:

    You can see the wisdom of those remarks really benefited Jozy.

  52. Amru says:

    I really don’t think it’s fair to expect too much from Shea at this point, he did give away possession cheaply a couple times, but he will learn. Other then that Jozy does seem to be improving, but obviously still has a lot to learn

  53. my thoughts on the game. i won’t try to pretend that i know much but here are my observations….

    1. johnson, given time, might make the lb position his for years to come. if brek (who i thought showed signs of brilliance but also demonstrated how raw he is) and johnson are on the left, watch out. whoever scouted and recruited johnson deserves a medal or something

    2. does anyone at this point doubt the quality of michael bradley? he had a monster game. he read the game well and he really owned his role.

    3. i don’t care what anyone says. senor pirlo is one of the best of his generation. i felt that in the first half we had no answer for him. we let him sit back and do what he does best…distribute balls where they must go.

    4. mo edu stepped up in the second half. in the first half i feel the person named in number three had too much room to do his business. i think mo and bradley work…

    5. imagine a world where landon takes william’s spot and stu takes mo’s spot….

  54. Dude Abides says:

    Fabian Johnson at left back, Chandler at right, and Lichaj and Dolo as their respective subs!!! We have speed with reserves. Hopefully Boyd can be our next CD9 and Holden can heal and regain his form as the number 10.

  55. david m says:

    Excellent result, some good defensive work, especially in the second half, still very poor offensively. No cohesiveness, too many giveaways, little intelligent passing, no movement off the ball.

  56. He played Shea to showcase him to European clubs. Shea will get signed soon (if his contract will let him) to go overseas.

  57. TomG says:

    For me, probably more like:


    but I hesitate to even mention Stu, b/c we have no idea of what he will look like when or if he gets back. I’d also like to start phasing in either Ream or Cameron for Boca due to age issues. With no Holden, the second CM role next to MB is a turkey shoot between Edu, Jones, and D-Will. I hope that this game finally puts to rest Klinsi’s fascination w/ Beckerman as anything but a depth player.

  58. biff says:

    totally agree about Johnson and Edu. Man of the match was, without a doubt, Fabian Johnson. Great defense, instrumental in moving the ball foward and was spearheading attack and completed a perfect pass to Jozy in heavy traffic for Jozy to tip to Dempsey for the goal. Edu, who for me was the surprise of the match. Looked totally confident and made some key defensive plays and some nice offensive activity, but, yeah, a couple of bad passes. Williams ain’t a winger, but he is a tenacious defender and he was helping out dolo all game. Williams could be a key central defender moving forward.

    Actually, an amazing performance overall from a USMNT with five starters missing from the squad. Klinsmann did a great job preparing, had the guys ready to go, and did perfect substitutions in the second half.

    After today, I still feel we have better options than Michael Bradley as holding midfiedler. But I have to admit, he was mostly solid, very cool with the ball under pressure, saved Cherundolo when the man got buy dolo. But he also was guilty of some defensive lapses, some that luckily did not turn out to be goals. Edu was a big help to Bradley today. Bocanegra also stood out, I thought. he was tough as nails and simply played a smart match.

    And Clint Dempsey, he is god right now. Hotter than heck and no stopping that guy when he has the ball near the goal. No question in my mind that he should be the USMNT Number One forward. No more midfield for Demps, Klinsi.

  59. primoone says:

    Nice win…ugly kit.

  60. cajun says:

    You’re high. It was an away match in Italy. How many countries can claim a win under those circumstances friendly or not? On a legit run of play goal at that? Fantastic defensive effort from an American team missing many key players!

  61. JD in FL says:

    I think Edu played well, but I still think he needs to elevate his game over the full 90. He had at least one poor loss of the ball deep in the midfield. He has to eliminate those types of lapses.

    We still saw Bradley and Edu crowding each other early in the game, but they seemed to work out the chemistry as the game progressed. Overall a nice game for both of them. MB90 was exceptional.

  62. primoone says:

    “Shea’s desire to take people on was impressive. His ability to actually do it… ”

    aint that the truth.

  63. Jamie Z. says:

    Would it have killed you to go with a “The Italian Job” headline? missed the bus, too.

  64. RNG says:

    Man-marking Pirlo was Demsey’s job…
    and at the end of the day, he was more focused on creating some offense.

  65. TomG says:

    he is a wise man, that Klinsi, but some credit has to go to Jozy for defying the pull of gravity and figuring out how to stand upright without toppling over.

  66. Chef says:

    Howard – Amazing but not test all that much considering how much possession Italy had.
    Fab J – Awesome as usual while playing out of position. He would have been even more effective in the Midfield or LW.
    Boca – Great play. This is the Boca we have come to know and love.
    Goodson – Changed my opinion of him. Had a stellar game.
    Dolo – Solid as always.
    Edu – Fantastic. Won’t get enough credit. Broke plays up. Defended very well and completed smart simple passes going forward.
    Bradley – Man of the Match. If he is available there is no reason he should not be starting.
    Shea – Fair to poor on the ball. Great game positionally and gave a great effort.
    D Will – Struggled. Played out of position and against one of the best defenders he will play against in his life.
    Dempsey – Pure class. Great finish and held the ball well.
    Altidore – Atrocious first half. Brilliant 2nd half. If he ever becomes consistent he can be one of the best strikers in the world. Big if though.

    Kljestan – Terrible but doesn’t play on the outside. similar to D Will but worse defensively. People will get excited that he hit someone hard.
    Spector – Played the 15 minutes of his life. Great effort from a player who hasn’t played well for USMNT. Can only respect that.
    Boyd – Sort of an N/A. We were in a defensive shell by the time he came on.
    Buddle – N/a

  67. TomG says:

    They did kind of steal that one.

  68. Tim M. says:

    I agree he’s young and will have plenty of time to learn, but my main concern is that he’s Klinsmann’s number 1 on the left side.

    I’d rather see Beasley there, even in bad form, then see Shea there.

  69. Jamie Z. says:

    Agreed. I expected an assured performance and he exceeded my expectations. Automatic starter and future captain.

  70. CroCajun says:

    Have to disagree.

    Bradley was man of the match. He was everywhere.

    Edu did what Edu always does. He’s strong, athletic and a solid tackler, but he is not very impressive with the ball at his feat, and he’s not the tactical defender that Bradley, or Jones for that matter has shown to be. Today he added another highlight to his long list of completely botched attempts at the top of the box, and while he’s a dangerous target on set pieces, he is not much of a string puller in mid field.

    Edu is a good player when bunkering down, but if we’re ever healthy enough to implement the possession style attack JK longs for, Edu doesn’t have the on the ball skills necessary to remain on the field.

    I thought that Johnson did have a stellar game though.

  71. boosted335 says:

    Meh, If his dad wasn’t the coach Bradley wouldn’t even be playing

  72. Sam says:

    I just like that, for once, the position battles are over the 1st rate players, not just the 2nd rate/contributors. I <3 depth.

  73. kobao says:

    +1 on the donovan for shea comment. it seems obviously, but shea just didn’t show up to play today, particularly in the first half. he had plenty of chances to show the world what he has to offer and for just ended up shanking a shot or turning the ball over. he was definitely the weak link for the us in the 1st half.

    that said, given the result i’ll take it. shea will come into his own over time. i’d prefer to see him up front anyway.

  74. terkyjerky says:

    I think we’re fine with Altidore as the lone striker the problem is without donavon on the right side we barely get anything from that side. Italy just shifted over and double shea or johnson on the left everytime they got the ball towards the end of the first half and the second half and that stopped our attack a lot of the time.

  75. Justinv says:

    I actually think that was by design. Outlook was able to orchestrate somewhat, but not dominate and that because at his age Bradley and Edu could close him down before he was able to push into position where the CMs had to step to him and leave someone open. He made some nifty passes but they were all well covered.

  76. Grant says:

    Williams was crap…

  77. Powderhorn Pops says:

    When JK comes in promising a different style of play to the Bradley style and then goes out and plays the same style – those without bias are going to call him on it.

    In other words. If Bradley were coaching and this was the teams performance you’d have a comment section filled with negativity towards Bradley’s system. I think (I have no way of actually knowing) Lalas’s comments are more directed at Bradley haters than at JK. The fact of the matter is we don’t have the players to play JK’s truly desired style of play. That is being implemented in at the youth level. you want to see a glimpse of the futrue US style of play? Watch tonight’s USA/Mexico match.

    The disrespect Bob Bradley received from fans and media still sits poorly with some of us so we will naturally point out things like JK playing defensively and the fact that Baby Bradley is obviously one of our top 3 field players.

  78. Mat says:

    Consider these facts:
    – Italy never lost in Genoa
    – USA never beat Italy

    Historic performance for the USA. Klinsman had his tactics spot on.

    As much as I liked BB, it’s hard to argue the Jurgen team is much more organized. So far he seems to be doing a good job.

    Oh and what’s up with Lalas? Would it kill him to say this was an incredible result for the USA? Listening to him the USA were disastrous in the first half, when I thought we were quite organized and efficient. Does he expect the USA to come guns blazing vs Italy away?

  79. Justinv says:

    Pirlo not outlook.

  80. kobao says:


  81. CJ in ELA says:

    Assuming everyone is healthy and in form, im inclined to agree with the personnel,except:
    1. Im not completely sure that edu is a better option than jones. But I may be susceptible to the argument that he compliments MB better.
    2. I don’t think MB is really an attacking mid, but more a box to box mid that is better coming from a holding position. This would put us at more of a 4-4-1-1. Which brings me to my next point.
    3. I think deuce is really effective coming from a more reserved central position. So, Jozy is going to have to improve his hold-up game a bit. But i’m positive he is capable of doing it.

    My only other note is that Donovan and stu would be free in this formation to pinch in as both chandler and johnson are pretty adept at getting forward and contributing to the attack.

  82. SB says:

    Edu played great, but his decision making skills are too slow. Too many times he hesitated with his passes. Replace Edu with Williams or Jones or Holden and put someone else on the right wing. Team looked pretty good. Bradley was amazing. Johnson looked really good as well. Starting to build some much needed depth.

  83. Ricky B. Free says:

    Shea was so impressive today…. NOT!!!

  84. Alejandro 10 says:

    Wasn’t there something said about the Azzurri having never lost in that stadium?

  85. Indigo Montoya says:

    CB’s can play into their mid 30s – not an unusual thing. If nobody is better than Boca, then God bless him…

  86. CroCajun says:

    Poor performance may be a bit harsh, but we did not dominate by any stretch. I think we scored on our only shot on target. On the other side of the field we were lucky not to concede.

    Soccer is a complex sport and you have to get out of this win = good game/ loss = bad game mentality to accurately assess play.

    JK was forced into playing Bradley ball due to injuries, and you can’t ignore that players like Abate and De Rossi didn’t start the game.

    I’m very happy we won, but I don’t think our performance today makes us a top 10 team. We’ve still got a long way to go.

    I still can wait to see what we look like with all hands on deck.

  87. josh says:

    It was fun seeing the Italians chasing us around in a panic late in the second half. That was something new.

  88. CroCajun says:


  89. Jamie Z. says:

    Agreed on all points.

  90. josh says:

    Okay, put Donovan in for Shea, and maybe Holden in for D. Williams. Interesting…

  91. TomG says:

    Esp. considering the way Lalas played the game, himself. We’re not exactly talking Maradona here. Heck, we’re not even talking Jay DeMerit.

  92. CroCajun says:

    I think we’ll have to see Altidore alone up based on our current available players. If one of the young strikers gets to the point where he can’t be denied a place in the starting 11 that may change, but for right now it’s all on Jozy.

  93. James says:

    If only we had other players not named Dempsey or Donovan who have the kind of calm, cool composure on the ball in tight spaces that Bradley showed today.

  94. MicahK says:

    Great game. I am glad that the Jozy and Dempsey combo worked. Fabian was freaking awesome at LB. Shea still needs to be a little polished shielding the ball and finishing. Other than that the team was great. GO USA!!!!

  95. Yoreau Snaub says:

    Wait till you see the home jersey – hopefully we will only look like clowns, and not play like them…

  96. Roberto says:

    can people stop with postal code abbrevaiations for players? CR7 CD9 etc etc it really annoys me and it’s stupid….ok, thank you

  97. louis z says:

    Fabian had a very good game, very smooth player. For some reason he may not be 90 minute player. I still haven’t seen him in a game where he goes the distance. excellent addition to our side.

  98. Justinv says:

    Exactly, it’s not like we weren’t playing an offsides trap and just getting lucky. I honestly can’t say that there was a bad offsides call and even on the close ones we had defensive coverage. That is how you play a smart offside trap, you don’t just throw your hand up and hope for the call. BTW, props to Goodson for improving on this.

  99. Chef says:


    Right now if everyone were 100% playing at their best and healthy, I still don’t see Holden cracking this line up or Torres or Lichaj and definitely not Kljestan.

  100. Chef says:

    His name is Fabian Johnson

  101. Matt says:

    Michael Bradley haters can suck it long, and suck it hard.

  102. God I hope so. I absolutely fell in love with him when he was playing up there and he really hasn’t looked the same on the left side. Hopefully Fabian keeps looking solid there and lets Chandler can go back where he’s more comfortable.

  103. matt says:

    This. I personally thought MB was a monster. He was always in the right place, made some fantastic runs that went unrewarded, and was good on the ball a few times when he had to be. I also didn’t see him make a lot of errant passes. Not saying Edu didn’t have a good game but MB’s success in Italy has absolutely translated to the int’l level. (And as Alexi pointed out pre-game he is WAY more disciplined than he used to be: even if Jones were better, which is arguable, he is still a liability sometimes.)

  104. g? says:

    I am SO glad I went to that game. Even if I was the only US supporter in the South stands (saw the goal from closeeeeeeeeee)…

    Two thoughts:
    1) Totally legitimate win. Maybe not a dominant display, but beating ITALY in Genoa is pretty impressive, though I felt Shea gave away possession too easily (but he’s young, so it’s not a pressing issue).

    2) From the south tribune, the US supporters were crap. I couldn’t afford the US area tickets, but they were quiet and calm the whole bloody match. Full 90 guys… Don’t make ECS show you how it’s done.

  105. g? says:

    That sounds too arrogant. But I’m drunk in Italy, so meh.

  106. Shawn says:

    RB. Donovan will play right mid

  107. dude says:

    Kinda hard to develop an attacking style when Klinsi has yet to have a full strength squad

  108. I would probably go

    Chandler Onyewu Bocanegra Johnson
    Bradley Williams
    Donovan Dempsey Shea
    Allthough I’m definitely a fan of Beckerman, and don’t really want to count Dolo out yet

  109. Luis Bueno says:

    Thank you, saved me the effort, though I doubt I could’ve put it as well as you did.

  110. Michael F. SBI Mafia Original says:

    I can’t believe no one os talking about Shea. I thought he was beast. He was all over the field, making impact plays one after the other.

  111. biff says:

    +1 It truly was a stunning performance. Even the weakest links on the team against Italy didn’t look that bad. It was cohesive and tactical and the defense generally rock solid, and when it did break down quick to react–and thank god for Timmy Howard. Simply amazing performance by the guys, and we were missing five starters. If we would have had Donovan on right wing, Jermaine Jones as holding midfielder, and Chandler in the line-up, I think we could have totally dominated Italy and scored an additional goal or two.

    In any case, the performance leaves no doubt in my mind that the USMNT is in much better hands with Klinsmann than with Bob Bradley, although BB, of course, did a good job. And, by the way, the Klinsmann haters who were screaming SOS after our 1:0 loss to France in Paris in November should take note that France kicked Germany’s butt tonight 2:1 in Bremen. At the time I felt that the USMNT performance against France was pretty good, and that a 1:0 loss was not a bad result to be ashamed of.

  112. Roy says:

    Very nice effort from the whole team. I felt the game was a bit lackluster at first (on both sides) but clearly started to mean more as time wore on. We were a bit lucky following substitutions, as Klejstan in particular gave away a few ridiculous runs at goal, letting the attacker slip behind him uncontested, then failing to apply pressure. Horrible stuff. I continue to wonder what he’s doing in the rotation–a mystery I guess I’ll never understand. But Dempsey shined as usual. Bradley and Edu were great. Edu I always feel is undervalued and an unsung hero on this team.

  113. nick says:

    You are kidding right???

    How many teams in the world go to Italy and put Italy on their heels at home?

    The US had periods where they played very, very well. As the game wore on Italy threw everything at the US.

    Several US players had truly outstanding games, including Bradley, Altidore, Dempsey, Johnson,Edu and Bocanegra.

  114. biff says:

    How were the Italians reacting to the defeat?

  115. Bolt says:

    It’s ridiculous how many of you let Altidore slide. Yes, he settled the ball, shielded it long enough to find Dempsey and performed a simple layoff. Great. He also lost the ball more times than I could count, and seemed more interested in flopping than linking with his mates or shooting. Lazy as fvck, and I’m sick of seeing him get an automatic start. We should expect more productivity than what we get from him, on both sides of the ball. Boyd had one lame turnover that I recall, but he is far more agressive than Altidore. I hope he get another run. But, in the meantime, let Altidore earn the spot. I’d rather see Gomez or Buddle start before he gets another chance. Peace, out!

    PS – no, Ives, it was not a “great play” by Altidore; it was a simple play that we should expect any starting forward to make. Go back and count his turnovers and flops, which were far more representative of his overall game.

  116. A wise man once says:

    His dad ISN’T the coach.

  117. gringo88 says:

    I can’t believe you guys are complaining. to say that it was a poor performance, you must be an idiot. we were missing half of the squad and it was in Italy. klinsman does not have the players to play a 4-3-3. so to say he is thinking like Bradley is just dumb. we won against Italy in Italy!!!!! what more can you ask for, especially without Donovan. He had to put edu and Bradley to play more defensive of style. come one,what you were expecting 4 goals in Italy. I don’t think so, didn’t you saw how many offside there were in the game.

  118. Clover362 says:

    Shea didn’t have a great game but still managed to send in some dangerous crosses. I think Shea’s issue lately is 1) FCC Dallas played a lot of games last year and he had to carry them, add in all the camps and everything else he didn’t really have an off season, so I think his energy level has been lower lately 2) FCC Dallas asks him to basically be their offense so he has formed habits of really attacking players. At the international level he can’tblaze past with superior speed and they are better at dispossesing him 3) he goes against people he can blaze past/ aren’t good enough to dispossess him regularly at club level. I think it’s time he finds a bigger league so he can learn what works at higher levels of competition and hone his soccer IQ

  119. g? says:

    Melancholy, most of what I heard were ‘names I hope are never called up again.’ I was just happy that the names were italian, rather than ‘Lazy out-the-door, Landycakes, Bob Jr.’ and the usual US-fan self-hate. Also everyone was REALLY impressed with Howard, and generally respectful of MB and Deuce.

  120. Clover362 says:

    He did put in good work defensively.

  121. Brett says:

    All that stuff is fine, I like that he attacks players.

    What I don’t like is when he gets the ball and then tries a little flick that no one expects and it just goes right to a defender and suddenly everyone is out of position. He needs to play with his team instead of trying to be impressive all the time.

  122. marco says:

    Bradley, man of match, even .5 better than Pirlo. Jozy had a Jeckel and Hyde performance, going down quicker than a Kardashian in first half, then in second half he stayed upright for a beautiful lay-off. Agree on Williams having a good game but not as a winger. He’s been 3 times on the wing and doesn’t have one decent cross. Even FB’s produce more attack than Williams on the wing. Is Williams becoming Klinsmann’s Bornstein.

  123. Twon says:

    Shea club is FC dallas, people give me a break and stop saying how poor Brek played he had a good game and he is the future. For the USMNT team to get better, MLS is a big part of it. In the future, 5-10 years, you will americans play in the EPL more and MLS. Look at the U-23 and see the mix of european players and MLS.

  124. lold says:

    Biff – please never respond to a soccer thread ever again. How can MB not be man of the match and how can you think we have better options over him? I almost never read the comments section bc i have to read comments like yours. I spit out my coffee and i was not even drinking any when i read your thread.

  125. marco says:

    I thought Dolo should have played in front of him, because he has zero attacking skills.

  126. Turgid Jacobian says:

    Hehe. Damn you autocorrect!

  127. Andy says:

    What do you mean by it showed? His hold up play was better than Altidore’s was pretty much all game. He looked fine, and he even got Chiellini aggravated in the 15 min. he spent on the field by getting physical with him. (One of the best CBs in the world mind you)

  128. Andy says:

    I would have really liked to see Bradley and D-will in the center with Donovan out on the right… too bad!

  129. Andy says:

    Nope. Weak in possession and almost nothing going forward. He did track back well defensively though, and he worked very hard.

  130. ben in el cajon says:

    It didn’t hurt that our uniforms have those white sleeves so it seemed like a white-shirted Italian was always offsides on every close call. The optical illusion of the USA uniform design was genius.

  131. Andy says:

    Were all you Kljestan sympathizers happy with his outing today?

  132. Kent says:

    Agreed. In a 4-2-3-1, Bradley tank and Williams would be a CDM pair I would like to see.

  133. USA says:

    This guy is just one of those dunces like alexi lalas. Lalas is an absolute moron by the way, overly critical of the team in he middle of and after one of their best ever results. Yes klinnsman wants to be more proactive than Bradley’s teams were, this does not mean we are going to flip a switch and hold 60% possession in games like away in Italy. If you can’t tell that there isa noticeable effort for klinsmann’s usmnt to connect a first pass when possession is won rather than bradleys’ team that exclusively played safe and long unless the counter was on, than you my friend are as ignorant as lalas.

  134. Kent says:

    Fabian played well at LB but I would prefer him over Shea at LM. He’s just more polished offensively than Shea and seems to make things happen when he pushes forward.

  135. Rabid RBNY says:

    I feel you have forgotten that Bradley let the Us slip from No. 16 in the world to No. 34.

    I guess it’s to much to ask if you noticed that the interplay between players has gotten better. The passing game in general has gotten more attacking orientated.

  136. malkin says:

    Jozy was shaky first half but no way was Boyd’s hold up play better than Jozy in the 2nd half. He also had a hack move on Chiellini that resulted in a foul and a stare down. Not exactly something that “got under his skin.” Gorgeous play by Boyd on the sideline towards the end, but I dunno, I just thought he looked a little lost and that 2 on 2 was a poor to say the least. I dunno, I shouldn’t comment b/c I’m not normally one to focus on the negative, just was hoping for more I guess with all the hype.

  137. Alex says:

    Michael Bradley looked amazing out there. Passing, calm control even in rushed situations, looking one way and jerkin’ defenders by looking one way and passing confidently in another, namely FORWARD. So refreshing. Just one game but daaaayum son, for that one game you looked world class. Almost seemed like he played controlled angry, was awesome to watch. My question is has he always been as capable as this, and just needed to learn technique and discipline in a place like Serie A? Baby Bradley no more, he was off the CHAIN today. Due props and respect from a Bradley skeptic.

  138. USA says:

    I meant the dufus above Chris. Sorry chris

  139. iheartscotch says:

    The soccerbyives audience is pretty informed about the national team. I’m sure it was a sarcastic joke. If it was on espn then maybe such a comment may not be a joke.

  140. CroCajun says:

    He was out of position. Howard would probably suck at Forward. Not Williams’ fault, and with five players getting hurt a week before the game, JK hands were tied.

  141. CroCajun says:

    Had them on their heels is a bit of a stretch…

  142. CroCajun says:

    You’re right. Lalas’ criticisms were hardly justified considered the injuries JK had to deal with.

  143. pancholama says:

    Yeah – that looks like a solid line up – but maybe put Jermaine Jones where you have Edu.

  144. LBC203 says:

    I’d like to add that under Klinsi there is better defensive form and more playing the ball calmly out of back rather than Bradley’s long ball game. Although, Klinsi has yet to solidify his offense style — i.e., transitioning shape from defense to offense in counterattacks — as he said he would. However, Italy is a very good team and probably not an opponent that would facilitate the showcasing of this offense style.

  145. Excellency says:

    His contract will let him but Dallas is asking $8 million buyout. Nobody will pay that for his work at left wing todate. I would not play Shea at left wing.

  146. Chef says:

    No. Donovan in for Williams. Take Shea off Chandler at LB and move Johnson to LW.

  147. Ted says:

    very much agreed, i couldn’t help but think during the game that, while we we were hanging with Italy with this squad, where we would be at with those 4 in the mix

  148. Mario in QT says:

    Great win! I really liked the way they tried to pass out of the back and not throw the ball away. Retaining ball possession with better passing especially under pressure is the mark I have noticed from Klinsman’s coaching. This game was a step up for the team, thanks coach!

  149. mike piazza says:

    But can we beat Mexico?

  150. Chef says:

    +1 Hahaha Kljestan sucks.

  151. away goals says:

    Two of our best attacking players, johnson and donovan, had to play in the back or missed the game entirely.

    Not sure what you were expecting if you weren’t happy with the way we played today.

    Results be damned, this was a confident, composed outing against a world power on their home soil.

  152. CroCajun says:

    My thoughts exactly.

  153. BD says:

    WC 2014 Brazil Starting XI


    What do ya think?

  154. Richard says:


  155. CroCajun says:

    Dolo Onyewu Boca Chandler
    —–Bradley Holden—

    I ultimately like Johnson at leftback, but I like Chandler playing LB and Johnson pushed forward more than I like Shea playing LW and Johnson a LB.

    Dolo still needs to be on the field.

  156. Kosh says:

    Not that you inferred this but it needs to be said to show where I am coming from – I never hated BB and was one of his backers as I was (and still am) his son’s. OK so JK’s work in progress is still a work in progress – I’ll give you that and even he will. One thing that cannot be missed is that our pressing, shape and combination play has improved. It could very well be that we were capable of this and just failed to see it for such a long time that it now seems new. Perhaps. But if that’s the case then it shows that BB was not getting the team to play as well as it is right now. We all felt the staleness of things around and after the GC – a change needed to be made and US Soccer made one. New chapter, and now we’re moving on.

    BB is gone. He’s moved on and is doing the business with Egypt and I fully support him and wish him all the success he well deserves. Maybe JK gets this team doing what he wants and maybe not. Time will tell. But it’s his reign now and he deserves a shot to imprint and execute his vision. When the Lalases of the world keep harping on it, it does nothing but appear to undermine the efforts of the new coach, if not seem bitter and petty. But that’s just me.

    That said, my initial reason to respond in the first place was Luis grading the game as “poor” – one in which we gain a result against Italy in Italy. I don’t care who the coach is, I feel like that’s just an unfair rating for a job well done.

  157. ajwilson89 says:

    so proud of our boys! best defensive game ive seen from them yet against a hungry quality opponent. too bad we couldnt see a bit more from boyd though

  158. Charlie G says:

    clarify…Alexi…not Greg. I agree !

  159. GW says:

    williams was in for his defense. This became clear once they took the lead.

    He gave the defense another outlet when under pressure because he is very good at holding the ball on the sidelines.

  160. GW says:

    “Edu was a big help to Bradley today”

    That was Edu’s job. Did you expect MB90 to take on the Italian MF all by himself?

    Your prejudice is showing.

  161. Charlie G. says:

    Man of the Match… JK. Only a couple of days to organize this effort, changes at the last minute, gives you a clue that his vision is being translated on the field into team effort. While a few may not end up being starters, or are in the wrong postition, I like the fact that depth is being built. Also, lets give MB lots of credit for taking a chance in Italy – what may have been a big risk on his part may pay off in really helping to move his game to the next level – love that he had the guts to take a chance.

  162. bs says:

    Smash and Grab! But I will take it.

  163. bs says:

    Both teams full strength should always be a toss up

  164. dallennole says:

    I like this for qualifying….



    Shea Bradley Edu Donovan

    Johnson Boca Goodsen Dolo





    Shea Bradley Holden Donovan

    Johnson Onyewu Whitbred Chandler


    What say you?

  165. Scott says:

    Dempsey is still man of match. Fabian seems like it cuz such an upgrade from recent LBs. Dont want to beat up Bradley but he does lose his man a lot on crosses and got lucky several times tonight. He is a key figure for us but needs to tighten up that part of his game.

  166. g-dub says:

    Why so much Brek bashing in here?

    Yes he still gives the ball away a little too much, but his athleticism and marauding runs without the ball are extremely valuable. He also whips in good crosses. He showed both of these at times today. Brek is going to be a big time player.

  167. g-dub says:

    How are a lot of people putting Stu Bolden in XI’s like this? I like Stu as much as the next guy, but he’s been sidelined a long time and must earn a place back. I’m skeptical that he can recover to what his potential seemed to be a few years ago.

  168. Kosh says:

    You are correct. I sure did mean Alexi and not Greg. Thanks.

  169. soccerhorn says:

    agree with malkin. boyd looked lost. he had one nice move. everything else was embarrassing. Worse was watching him fix his sock and star gaze at Italian players on the ball only 15 feet away in the last ten minutes.

  170. soccerhorn says:

    I think this translates to:

    “if only you had hair, I could sell you to Juventus.”

  171. soccerhorn says:

    sorry, but… loved the new kit

  172. Dan says:

    If you honestly STILL think Michael Bradley isn’t by far our best option there, then you just need to stop watching soccer or get a clue.

  173. Fermin says:

    Best D-Mid option…there should be a creator in Central Midfield. This has been lacking for some time.

  174. Marc says:

    What do you have to lose in a friendly???

  175. Mario says:

    Defense has been the strength of Klinsmann’s team so far…Solid every time out. The offense still needs some work.

  176. Tre says:

    Holden may never be the same player again….cant just pencil him in at this point

  177. Fred says:

    They still play like the Bradley USA…The empty bucket has to go

  178. mick says:

    Chandler blows

  179. A-Lott says:

    Ever since the game–can’t remember which one, one of Chandler’s first matches with the Yanks–I saw Chandler and Lichaj overlapping one another one the right flank, I’ve dreamed of finding a left-footed left back to allow both Eric and Tim to play on the right. In my imagination, I see a World Cup lineup featuring Lichaj at fullback behind Chandler in the midfield. Either can drop back to defend; both can get forward and put in the cross or take a shot.

  180. BrianVT says:

    “Hopefully Boyd can be our next CD9″ — more importantly, hopefully he won’t.

  181. BrianVT says:

    What are their respective ages? We’ll have to look beyond Donovan someday.

  182. BrianVT says:

    I’m not sold on Shea, and I don’t think Gooch’s body will hold up that long. (I hope I’m wrong, because I hate to see a career end due to injury – in any sport.)

  183. BrianVT says:

    I’m possibly a bigger Holden fan than most, and more importantly a big Holden believer.

    If there is any silver lining to his lay-off, it may be that it has kept a bit of mileage off of the odometer. He’ll be fit and strong for years to come.

    The types of injuries that he has had have not been due to any inherent frailty — those muggings would have floored the toughest UFC competitors. He hasn’t had any injuries that would fundamentally take away from his speed, agility, or skill.

    That said, I agree that like all players under the Klinni Regime, he has to earn his way back up to the top of the depth chart.

    I do believe he can and will.

    His biggest task in his recovery has got to be to tackle smarter – and avoid the situations that have gotten him injured in the past.

  184. Goalscorer24 says:

    Italy has been very good for Bradley, his possession was great!

  185. Goalscorer24 says:

    Shea is still pretty raw, but I think Johnson at left back, and Chandler at right would be pretty solid. and they would give us the attacking wingers that we need when we attack.

  186. Goalscorer24 says:

    I agree. I thought in the 2nd half there were some more opportunities for us to go forward, but we held up. I wish we would not do that and go for the 2nd goal. I disagree with Lalas that we are just a defensive team, we need to play with confidence, that we can attack.

  187. Jeff says:

    Looked like four incorrect offside calls having watched the replay. Not a very good linesman. It was a noticeable problem. However, none were important. Howard saved two of the resulting shots anyway and the other two weren’t dangerous opportunities.

  188. Jeff says:

    It wasn’t Shea’s best game, but I thought he was pretty decent. People are reacting to maybe a few sloppy giveaways. He was active, at times dangerous and even made some good blocks and defensive plays. Maybe a 6/10. I feel good about the kid going forward.

  189. Jeff says:

    Totally agree.

  190. Jeff says:

    To me, the truth is somewhere in the middle.

  191. whoop-whoop says:

    It’s OK to make a point, but when Lalas repeats it 10 times, his bias becomes evident. Well…. lets be honest, if this was Bradley, we would not have been playing Italy in Genoa… more likely to have been say….Guatemala in Foxborough or something. And instead of Johnson making runs up the left side, it would have been Bornstein. Dempsey would not have been up top, he’d have been on the right. We would not have seen the calm passing out of the back, we would have seen it booted over the top.

    I am not a BB hater. I think he did a vey solid job, was the right man at the time, but it was also time for change.

    It is 7 mos into his tenure, we haven’t seen close to the full team together and we just beat Italy in Italy.Lalas was griping about results a month into the process… well… there 4 straight and a big win and the dude is still griping. You’re not going to see a miraculous turn around, but I do see more ambition. More imagination in selections, huge improvements in the over all structure of US soccer, and a team that appears to be thinking. The defense is WORLDS better. Klinsman is not a messiah, but give credit where it is due.

  192. whoop-whoop says:

    Put Beasley in… its debatable, but you may have a slight edge… course, by 2014 he’ll be pretty well spent and Shea will be behind in his development. He should not be THE guy, but glad to see he is getting some play in tough games/environments- it will do much to help his development and the team will be better for it.

  193. Goalscorer24 says:

    The 1st half we played better then we ever have against a big team with Bradley. We actually had some possession. After we scored in the 2nd half we fell into the bunker, which I did not like. I thought there were opportunities to continue to go forward, that is a mind set we need to change.

  194. Goalscorer24 says:


  195. Jay in Ft. Lauderdale says:

    bahaha! +1

  196. diro says:

    Bradley has been a beast for a long time. Glad many USA fans are finally waking up. He does all the things that NEVER SHOW UP IN THE STAT LINE. Doesn’t complain, doesn’t beat his chest, just gets the job done. Flashy? No way. Prime time player? Absolutely.

  197. Beckster says:

    Great effort by all and was really happy to see Specs come in and play so well. The Birmingham move has been great for him and his versatility can be a big asset to the MNT. Hopefully he will continue to play so well and grow his confidence.

  198. gabe says:

    I think Michael Bradley and Stuart Holden will be a thing of beauty in the midfield. Bradley has shown a major improvement with his decision making and tactical awareness. His motor and tackling were never in question. Likewise, while I was impressed with Edu’s ability to break up the attack, Holden is a guy that (before he was injured) led the premier league in tackles among midfielders. That is particularly impressive given his abilities with the ball, set pieces, creatively, etc. I think Bradley and Holden together would be a nightmare for opposing midfields, not only in terms of what they themselves can bring offensively, but also in terms of their ability to break up the rhythm of the opposition. Edu has made a strong case for a starting role in the event of another Holden injury, however, especially alongside MB. That is the best our CM corps have looked in a while. Clearly Landon Donovan is our starting RM.

    Defensively, I love Fabian Johnson on the left. Until Cherundolo retires from international duty, the RB spot is his. A healthy Chandler would likely push Johnson into the LM role, as I think Dempsey will hang on to the #10 role under the forward. As for the CB position, I would really like to see Danny Williams there if Onyewu is hurt. I think he is a fine defensive player with good athleticism and a good amount of ability on the ball. I think he would compliment Bocanegra extremely well, and we really need an alternative to Clarence Goodson. I am not a Goodson hater, but faster teams always seem to give us a problem when they play a lob ball over the top, as we don’t have the speed to fend off the attack. This was apparent in WC2010 as well (which Clarence wasn’t a part of). It would be nice to have some speed in that position, and it seems Williams plays there for his club if I am not mistaken.

    Here is my envisioned lineup. Thoughts from the SBI community?





  199. Joe Creighton says:

    Agreed. This pop culture crap has been taken too far. It all started with A-Rod. I blame him.

    Booooo Yankees!!!!

  200. Air Jordanz says:

    At the same time, you need to realize that playing defensively is an organic result of trying to hold a lead against a team that outmatches you. Which would you rather see–Boca boot the ball to safety, or try to play it out of the back when 20 field players from both teams are inside the 18?

    We definitely saw flashes of the possession-oriented attack Klinsmann is promoting. A lot of good build up got broken down in the final stages by Italy’s defense. I’m neither ragging on Bob nor saying Klinsmann’s style is a heretofore unseen paradigm shift. I just think your analysis is a bit unreasonable.

  201. Air Jordanz says:

    It’s worth noting that several top notch teams all failed to put more than 1 goal apiece on the Nats under Klinsmann.

    Mexico, Belgium, France, now Italy

  202. Air Jordanz says:

    Edu’s form last night was miles better than his recent mediocre performances for the Nats.

    Despite another ugly shot to add to his recent collection, Edu’s actually a pretty good distance shooter on the club level. I’m not sure why that won’t translate.

  203. Air Jordanz says:

    New away kit should have white shorts.

    Looks stupid without ’em. Probably awesome with them.

  204. Air Jordanz says:

    Jozy had the 1 assist in a one-goal victory against the #8 team in the world.

    ‘Nuff said.