Honduras 2, USA 1: SBI’s Player Grades

Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIPhotos.com


SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras– It was an ugly team effort by the U.S. Men’s National Team, and trying to find bright spots is one of the tougher tasks you will undergo in the wake of Wednesday’s 2-1 World Cup qualifying loss to Honduras.

The Americans didn’t just make one or two mistakes, or have a special goal beat them. They were out-played, out-hustled, out-worked and out-classed by a Honduran side that just looked like it wanted the three points more than the U.S. did.

Not every American player laid an egg. Tim Howard stepped up yet again, while Michael Bradley did his best to try and lead a lethargic midfield.

Unfortunately those two of the few promising performances we saw from the Americans. What we saw more off was shocking performances, like the forgettable start turned in by Danny Williams, and the surprising struggles of Timmy Chandler and Fabian Johnson.

Here are the SBI Player grades for Wednesday’s loss to Honduras:


TIM HOWARD- (6.5). He made some absolutely vital saves to keep the Americans in the game, and was very aggressive in his penalty area. Grade takes a dip for not getting to the ball on what eventually became the Honduras winner.

FABIAN JOHNSON- (4). Looked nothing like the fast and dynamic left back we have seen in the past. Whether it was the extreme heat, or fatigue from the quick turnaround and travel for the mid-week match, Johnson looked a shell of his usual self.

TIMMY CHANDLER- (3.5). His cap-tying experience will be one to forget as he, much like Johnson, looked a step slow and out of his element. Beaten repeatedly and offered nothing getting forward.

OMAR GONZALEZ- (4). Looked tentative and vulnerable in space against Honduras’ quick attackers. He looked overwhelmed at times and falling asleep on the Honduras winner is inexcusable. He may be a centerback for the future, but there was little evidence that he should be starting already.

GEOFF CAMERON- (5). Was better than Gonzalez, but could also have done better on the Honduras winner. Was active and broke up a good number of plays, but it wasn’t a game he’ll want to spend much time remembering.

DANNY WILLIAMS- (3). Worst player on the field. Had very little impact on the game, and was flat out overrun by Honduran midfielders. He made everybody’s job harder and it is extremely difficult to see him starting games come March.

JERMAINE JONES- (5). When a central midfielder completes fewer than 20 passes, it’s safe to say you haven’t put your stamp on the game, and Jones had just 19 (though one of them was a beautiful pass on Clint Dempsey’s goal. Fatigued in the second half, forcing a substitution that Jurgen Klinsmann probably didn’t want to make at that point. That assist helps his grade, but his performance was far from acceptable.

MICHAEL BRADLEY- (6). Was the U.S. team’s best field player, though it was tough for him to standout playing in a midfield where those around him struggled so much. He passed the ball well, but struggled more than usual with handling the two-way responsibilities he has. By his high standards, it was a below par performance.

CLINT DEMPSEY- (6). Scored a beautiful goal, but his impact was ultimately limited by a midfield and forward that moved little and passed less. He tried to be active, and was efficient with his passing, but he was eventually reduced to try and force things himself, which wasn’t going to yield much.

EDDIE JOHNSON- (4.5). He tried to take people on, and had one nice cross that Jozy Altidore nearly put on frame, but looked to tire as he put in a good amount of defensive work on the left flank. Being deployed so deep on the left flank didn’t really play to his strengths and left him far from goal.

JOZY ALTIDORE- (4). Altidore is a player who relies on movement and passing from those around him and there was very little of that on Wednesday, so Altidore was ultimately reduced to an invisible figure in the attack. He saw little of the ball and wound up with yet another frustrating performance in the national team uniform.

MAURICE EDU- (6). Came on and showed an ability to get the ball and keep the ball and move the ball, doing more of that in his sub’s appearance than either Williams or Jones did as starters. He looked like a player who was sharp after finding regular playing time in Turkey, which is why he should have probably started in the first place.

SACHA KLJESTAN- (4). Deployed on the left flank, he had little impact on the match after coming in.

GRAHAM ZUSI- (5). Gave the team some energy that it sorely needed, but not much else. With the midfield fatigued he couldn’t really get too involved. (UPDATED- Meant to give Zusi a five originally, and not a No Grade.)

JURGEN KLINSMANN- (3). All of his important lineup decisions failed him. Gonzalez over Carlos Bocanegra was clearly a mistake, no matter the motives, and starting Williams over Edu was clearly a distaster. Aside from Edu for Williams, which was a correction of his own mistake, Klinsmann’s substitutions didn’t really turn the tide.


Which American player impressed you the most on Wednesday? Which American player was the most disappointing? Who would you have given a better grade to?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in CONCACAF, Featured, U.S. Men's National Team. Bookmark the permalink.

335 Responses to Honduras 2, USA 1: SBI’s Player Grades

  1. Darwin says:

    Edu > Williams…been saying that all along.

    • Al_OC says:

      Nah, still don’t buy it. I think it’s more because he hasn’t been playing consistently for Hoffenheim. While Edu’s move to Turkey has landed him 4 straight games where he started, I believe.

      • brad says:

        Perhaps Danny Williams is part of the Match Fixing scheme.. Based on what I saw out of him yesterday, its possible..

    • Ian says:

      Laughable. Edu brought nothing yesterday.

      • Hogatroge says:

        The only laughable thing here is your inability to objectively analyze a soccer match. Edu was by far one of the best US players yesterday as well as one of the only guys who seemed to know how to hustle.

        Edu-hating is so 2011. Get off it.

        • Dan says:

          Edu has always paired well with Bradley as well…holding back for defense allowing MB to push up

        • 2tone says:

          I agree. I have been saying for a few weeks that Williams is not better than Edu. Edu is getting minutes now, and is finally showing what he is capable of. Williams was the flavor of the month and everyone jumped on it. He had one good game against a poor Jamaica side, and everyone was proclaiming him the prodigal son. Does Williams have talent? Yes, but he is also young and has some growing to do as a player. Edu right now is a better player.

          • bluewhitelion says:

            the Germans are cap-tied now. When they develop into superstars (wink) Die National Elf will not be able to lure them away.

      • Johnny says:

        Agree completely. I guess people think he looked good since everyone else looked so sluggish. Edu hussles, but he doesn’t have the ball skill required at the national level (not very “tidy” on the ball as some folks say). I’ve been watching him for a few years with the Nats, and it seems he’s always running after balls after a bad pass he just made. He closes quickly and makes a good stab at the ball, but if his passes were on he wouldn’t be in many of the situations he’s in.

    • kb says:

      I would have been happier starting a high school varsity team if they just hussled hard and showed emotion. Most of the USMNT seemed asleep behind the wheel.

    • Two Cents says:

      I agree. I’ve always liked Edu, but many seem to be in the love/hate realm with him, so there isn’t much leeway in discussing his play because there is no in between. I hope that most will come to realize he is better than Williams, at least for now, but I still can’t say I would want that many DM’s playing at the same time anyway.

      Besides that, our wings are my biggest concern. We seem to not really have an actual shape. It just changes constantly. The best teams in the world, club or otherwise, tend to be very good because they keep their shape, no matter what they start in. We move from 4-3-3 to 4-4-2 to 4-3-1-2 each movement up or down the field. A lot of this is because our players don’t play on club teams that run 3 DM’s and even if they did, many of our players are out of position because individually they are good players, but not necessarily for this scheme as a whole.

      I made a very young and attacking line up on another thread that looked like this


      I’m now thinking about what to do with the current roster and shifting it a little bit. I think we could pull this off, but I highly doubt we ever will because we always use so many damn DM’s.

      ————–Altidore———-E. Johnson—————
      F. Johnson——Bradley——Dempsey——Zusi

  2. Lazio Curva Sud says:

    Eight non-white starters for the USA, a new record!

    • Nate Dollars says:

      yay no one cares

    • Zubrowka says:

      Stop being racey. If you reverse the terms in your sentence, it sounds pretty hateful, no? Anyway (getting back on topic), our team wasn’t good enough regardless of its demographic composition.

      • Lazio Curva Sud says:

        Five foreign-born starters for the USA, is that also a new record?

      • ted says:

        Um yeah if you rearrange ANY sentence it will probably mean something not intended by the author.

        By today’s standards it may not sound like a huge deal but given that in much of US history being white has been almost been a requirement to being American I personally don’t think it’s so bad to celebrate a little diversity. Anyways prety poor diplay, for all the emphasis on fitness the US looked heavy legged from the first minute

    • Timo says:

      That’s right baby, DIVERSITY! Fo get Spain, Argentina, and Italy that play mostly whack ass homogeneous team. Those lame ass countries aint’ do nuffin!

      AMERICA BABY! That’s how we do it!

    • Sonny says:

      They took err jobs!

    • wow, didn’t notice that.

  3. BigKev says:

    The most disappointing for me was Landon Donovan. As Amobi Okugo said on twitter… “vacation over my dude.”

    • Rory says:

      Agreed but overused.

      An another thing: can we all quit talking about the “EXTREME HEAT AND HUMMIDITY” excuse… it was 84 Degrees with 74% Humidity, that’s a Heat Index of 92 degrees. Or other words, ten degrees better than just about every high school sporting event played in the South in late spring, summer, or early fall.

      These are professional athletes, I think we can expect them to play on a pretty pleasant day.

      • NickCO says:

        Not making excuses, but I can see how this could effect some. Most of our team plays in Euorpe and have been playing in the cold/rain/snow for the last few months. 3 days in Miami won’t acclimate you to 90 mins in that temperature. Still, we were out hustled, which is troubling.

      • Josh D says:

        Our team was made up of mostly Europeans. That means they had to deal with A. a midweek game B. traveling through different time zones and C. general fatigue that starts setting in the second half of the season. All that was compounded by the fact they are all used to the freezing European winters so the heat was worse. And for most, it was their first time down south and for all, it was their first time playing together as that XI.

        Those aren’t excuses. Those are reasons. However, it was up to Klinsi to recognize that and, in my opinion, play more of the Mexican-based players.

      • byrdman says:

        Where do you live?? I live in the Dominican Republic. I can tell you no matter what the heat index or thermometer says, that there are days when it is just oppressive. You feel like you have one of those XRAY protective blankets draped over your body. This is not an excuse but it is probably a reason as to why the ENTIRE team struggled and lacked energy.

  4. kodi says:

    Can someone explain the decision (not being sarcastic) to start 2.5 “defensive midfielders” in what looked to be a game where JK was content with putting more players behind the ball and play for a draw….then when the score is tied, he puts in two more attack minded midfielders and we fall behind. Is this the proper tactic?

    • shane says:

      Few of Klinsmann’s decisions are ever logical

      • rory says:

        I assume he wanted to have plenty of coverage for the inexperienced back line he put out there. Instead we had a weak defense, a crammed together defensive midfield and nothing moving forward. You can get away with that if you have a creative spark somewhere up front that can get a ball and make a run at the opponent, but that is not something we had much of yesterday. Dempsey’s goal could have been enough if the defense was solid, but it wasn’t.

        Also of note: Tim Howard has had a very bad week. Letting in three for Everton on the weekend and then two yesterday. I’m afraid Howard has peaked and the question is if anyone else will catch him by 2014, and if so, will Klinsy have the guts to go with the new guy.

        • Swifty says:

          +1 on howard. He still may be our top gk but he no longer has the strangle hold on the position that he used to. Question is if jkrealizes this should he keep him in for his experience in these qualifiers or go with guzan who may be better but is far less ecperienced and thus more likely to make a mistake.

          • QuakerOtis says:

            The first goal was a once-in-a-blue-moon bike from a CB who should have been marked. Howard could have positioned himself better on the second, but his CBs were at least as culpable on that one too. Not sure we should blame the GK for failing to single-handedly save our @ss.

      • Dave from Charlotte says:

        I’ll say it:

        where’s Bob Bradley when you need him!


    • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

      Looks like Klinsmann went for the same formula that won in the ugly Antigua game. CONCACAF away games are usually ugly affairs and he went with what he thought would be solidity through the center and outside backs putting in crosses to our big forwards….obviously that isn’t what happened. We got a sloppy midfield that didn’t force turnovers and consistently lost the ball and, what really killed the plans, outside backs who offered 0 going forward. Aside from not defending well, I think I saw Chandler get forward once and Johnson less than 5 times. Unacceptable considering their importance to the game plan we deployed.

      The decision to start an out of shape Williams was a huge mistake. He played poorly and only lasted 57 mins. We had to waste a much needed sub on him that could have been used to bring on maybe Gomez…. Obviously the Gonzalez move didn’t pay off either.
      Klinsy has some big questions to answer before the March qualifiers. What formation is best? and who fits it? those are fundamental questions we shouldn’t really have to answer at this point. Doesn’t really seem like the team has taken many steps forward since he took over and we are at square 1 still.

      • Golkipa says:

        Klinsmann’s formation suggests that he wants to dictate the center of midfield by making it hard to play in that part of the field and then create through the wide channels. This is why in the Canada game he deployed Evans in the middel and Zusi and Davis on the flanks. Here it was Bradley, Jones, and Williams who were asked to break up Honduran creative play and link up with Dempsey and Johnson who are, in turn, responsible for playing the ball into a running Altidore or a trailing Bradley or Jones.
        For this to work your middle three have to impose themselves on the Honduran middle 2 which they appeared incapable of. Either they were tired or confused but they just couldn’t get the job done. The other component is that you have to be able to play quality, mid to long range passes to the feet of the wide players or into space behind the outside backs which they were also unable to do. Lastly, you have to be able to combine 3 v 2 to play yourself out of pressure when you win the ball back; also a no-go yesterday.

    • Josh D says:

      Sascha and Zusi were brought in to control the game. Klinsi, rightfully, assumed with their fresh legs and so called ability to pass, they could help dictate the tie to the end.

      However, neither of them showed up. I’m done with Sascha. He’s done nothing in all his appearances.

      Let’s see Corona or Mix please. Proper technical central midfield players.

      • Nate Dollars says:

        while i agree with your disdain for sacha, it’s ironic that you call for ‘Proper technical central midfield players’, when i don’t believe klinsmann’s ever played sacha in his natural position in central midfield.

      • 2tone says:

        I agree Sascha has done nothing in his sub appearances. He was there to contol the tempo, and he couldn’t even do that. And for everyone saying he was played out of position give it a rest. He was deployed on teh left not to be a winger but to be more of a controlling LM. He failed again.

      • Ryan says:

        I’ve not seen any more from Corona or Mix than I have Sacha. Besides, you can’t blame Sacha for being played out of position.

      • Judging Amy says:

        Agreed. Sascha was brought in to knock the ball around and maintain possession. Zusi was supposed to provide energy on the wing and an offensive threat. They were both poor. Especially disappointed with Zusi as I’ve come to expect Sascha disappearing in games that matter. It’s just one game, but Zusi’ technical ability and physical attributes don’t seem all that impressive. And he’s already 26.

        We are very thin on the wing. Are there no better options than Zusi, Kljestan, and Eddie Johnson? This is an honest question not implying criticism of Klins.

        • Shaggie96 says:

          Fabian Johnson would be the best option at wing if we had a better left back. Chandler may be a better wing as well, haven’t seen enough of him there. Some would argue Brek Shea if he were healthy, but no, yesterday we had no better options at wing which is why I would say we shouldn’t be using them at all.

        • soccerhorn says:

          Agree to disagree. The only time we had any semblence of organized offensive possession was when Kljestan came on. Bradley finally had someone to share the ball with that would immediately attempt a twenty yard pass into a Honduran’s shinguards. From his entry into the game until we surrendered the second goal, Kljestan/Zusi/Bradley was actually working, and we had decent possession up top. Even Dempsey was getting into the mix.

          The problem was that once we got behind, suddenly they’re asking Kljestan, a central midfielder, to try to make attacking runs down the left flank. Just not his bag, and he failed.

          Frankly, if we’d started Kljestan over Williams, and put Kljestan if front of Bradley, we might not be having any of these “sky is falling” conversations. We’d have controlled possession better, and earlier, and might have even managed more than the few measly shots we sent Honduras’ way.

          Or am I the only one who noticed that along with defensive lapses, we generated almost no offense?

        • Gary Page says:

          Landon Donovan if he ever comes back.

    • Hogatroge says:

      Playing an overly defensive midfield wasn’t the problem. Playing an out-of-shape Jermaine Jones and an out-of-form Danny Williams was.

      Jones would have been fine had he been playing for Schalke (I still don’t get why they didn’t challenge his extra suspension). His assist was the only impressive moment of the game, so don’t get started with the “defensive midfielder” stuff. He was gassed, however, way too soon. Compare to when he played at Azteca when out of season but was still able to contribute for more than an hour.

      Right now, Edu is in better form than Williams. It’s arguable that Edu is a better overall player than Williams, too, though Williams has a more natural touch and is probably stronger. Despite his on-and-off 2011, Edu has been solid for the US in his last 4+ appearances. As seen against Russia, where he set up both goals, he does have some offensive abilities (though I’m not saying put him in at AM).

      The only thing to explain MB90s underwhelming performance, however, is the travel. This is not an adequate excuse, since many Honduran players had to deal with the same factors.

      The bottom line is, Edu and Zusi should have started in place of Williams & Jones, respectively. Jones could have come on at the half to give a late burst of energy.

      • Judging Amy says:

        Zusi was not good imo. A lot of running around, a lot of fouling, killing off attacks with his lack of skill, and not much production. Starting Jones was the right choice. Williams over Edu was the sketchy choice.

    • Ryan says:

      He’s the most defensive

  5. Ed says:

    Seems like the players don’t trust each other or the coaches. Almost all of our important matches have been surprisingly flat and incohesive.

    • beachbum says:

      this seems evident to me also and painful. Where is the sense of urgency? I think it gets lost in the midfield becasue the players tasked with those repsonsibilities are not put into positions to succeed and our width, which has always been a strength, is not even a part of the gameplan

      not starting Captain Carlos on the road in the first game of the Hex is downright inexcusable and a bonehead decision of the first order

    • downintexas says:

      No proof, but could LD MNT problems stem from JK???

      • shane says:

        Lots of people suspect this but we wont know for 20 yrs when England has a star player that is in that needs time away and Donovan, the then soccer commentator, tells everyone what was wrong.

      • Ed says:

        That’s my hunch

      • Josh D says:

        Then why leave LA? He was a proponent of Klinsi prior to Klinsi getting the job. The only thing Klinsi did was push Donovan. Whether or not Donovan took that the wrong way is his own problem.

        I think you can blame Donovan’s exwife more than Klinsi or Arena.

        • downintexas says:

          Most likely ex, but Klinsi has signaled him out. Plus there could be some stuff from Germany. Hopefully its just life an LD gets it all figured out

  6. Chicago Josh says:

    Just how many more Danny Williams grade 3 performances does Klinsi need to see? Enough already. At this point he is behind Beckerman on the depth chart.

    • biff says:

      This is a good point about Beckerman, who was strong against Canada and then doesn’t even get picked for Honduras. Love ‘em and leave ‘em. This would have been a perfect game for Beckerman. There is only one explanation, I think, for the Danny Williams start. Let’s face it, Klinsi has a thing for players born in Germany. I don’t mean this in a mean way. I am glad we have Fabian and Terrence Boyd and, yep, Jermaine Jones. If Timmy Chandler had been born in the USA, I really don’t think so many fans would be so in love with the guy. Which reminds me, if anyone has a gif of the Honduran player back-heeling the ball between Chandler’s legs I would love to see that.

      • Seriously? says:

        Yeah, that’s the only possible explanation. The fact that Beckerman is slow and struggles in more competitive matches had nothing to do with it. Nothing makes a player look better than not playing in a game where the player in his spot struggled, this is why back up QB’s are often so popular in the NFL.
        Not saying Williams was good, but Beckerman is not the answer

      • Josh says:

        Hahaha, as much as I hated it at the time, I would much prefer a copy of that gif as well.

        As for the rest, completely agree with JK and Germany. I think it’s another positive if you play in Germany. JK refuses to believe he can get quality players from MLS, but that if they are in the superior German league, they are obviously the best. Kind of disappointing really.

        However, don’t think this was a good game for Beckerman to be in. He probably deserved a spot on the roster following Canada, but we did not need another D-mid in the game. That was the last thing we needed in the game was more defensive minded midfielders

    • The B in Apt 23 says:

      Gotta agree, particularly with Concacaf opponents. If there is one thing Beckerman has shown, it’s that he’s performed in the Central American environments and style.

  7. wiger toods says:

    Glad Ives included a grade for Klinsman. ‘About’ the only decision he made correctly was starting Howard in goal.

    • slimkid32 says:

      Disagree. I think mistakes were made, mainly Williams starting over Edu and Omar over Boca (although there was talk about his hamstring prior to the game but who knows).But the line up fielded seemed a perfectly competent one. I think some people PREFER certain players over certain players, but the only glaring onission was Boca. People want wing play and creativity but we just do not have that. The lineup was an appropriate one for going into a hostile Honduran environment. The substitutions were also appropriate as they were made at 1-1 and people we’re quickly tiring. He brought in Edu for obvious reasons and the other two subs were two people normally very good on the ball so we could increase our possession and finish out the match. I don’t see any of his personnel decisions as terrible. Things just didn’t work out. The Ravens did not win the super bowl because Harbaugh’s decision to start Kaepernick over the veteran Alex Smith. It was the right decision, he just was not good enough that day.

      • David St. Hubbins says:

        Omar over Boca was not a mistake. JK had no good options there. Boca has been terrible these past 6 months. His age and playing in a poor league have caught up with him. He was subbed out in the 18th minute of the russia friendly, he coughed up the carlos ruiz goal in the Guat home game, and he coughed up the dexter blackstock goal off a throw-in in Antigua.

        • Hogatroge says:

          Agreed. Better to let Omar learn a harsh lesson now than later. Waiting for the centennial match to start him would have been the mistake. Plus, we could probably have counted on at least 1 mistake from Boca leading to the same scoreline. Yes his mistake on the 2nd goal was bad, but my boy Cameron gets some of the blame, too. Also, Omar will eventually start putting goals in from corner kicks to make up for this one.

          About the only thing everyone seems to agree on, though, is that Edu should have started. He’s had a new fire since the Azteca friendly, and now that he’s in a happy playing situation, we can use that.

          Personally, I think Jones as a 2nd half sub for Zusi would have been a better idea. Get a solid 45 min out of a great player who is, at present, low on the stamina.

        • slimkid32 says:

          I personally had no problem with that, but I know many of these boards did. And for me, that is understandable because there is at least a good argument to be made for the inclusion of Boca, even if it is not the opinion I share. I keep reading about the terrible mistakes in picking the lineup/subs and I just do not see that that is the case.

      • Judging Amy says:

        “People want wing play and creativity but we just do not have that.”

        This is the crucial element to evaluating Klins imo. Is this statement true? If so, can’t fault Klins. Or is he picking the wrong lineup/playing the wrong system.

        When I look at the national team pool, I lean towards the truth of that statement. Most of our very attack minded, creative, and skilled players are either young and still just potential (Mixx, Agudelo, arguably Gatt, Gyau etc.), not in form/too old (Donovan, Beasley) or not good enough (arguably Adu).

        We supposedly have a better corps of strikers than in the past few years, yet I still think it’s a problem position. Demps is our best striker and he’s great. But he’s only one man, and he can drift out of games.

        Jozy is Jozy. Let’s just not start there (basically he’s not fulfilling his potential right now at the NT level). Gomez is aging (Just recently Klinsmann seemed to love Gomez and he doesn’t get in against Honduras behind Eddie Johnson or a not-too-long-ago benched Jozy Altidore? JK must have seen a noticeable drop in Gomez’ form for that to happen). EJ has improved, but is still a very average international forward. Boyd is apparently not ready.

        • slimkid32 says:

          I feel we are pretty much on the same page here. It looks like we will just have to suffer through some nervy times. However, I do see us moving in the right direction( all the young talent). JK is catching a ton of slack for not turning to these young talents, which I’m sure is very tempting, but it is the right thing to do. Freddy Adu is a prime example of giving someone too much too soon.

  8. Kevin_Amold says:

    I’m as big a Michael Bradley fan as any, but I thought he had a borderline poor game, along with the entire midfield. I just can’t think of anyone that had a really good game. Very disappointing, we looked as if we were running in sand for stretches.

    Klinsman shoulders a lot of blame for this loss in my opinion. I know Josh Gatt is raw, I really do, but he possesses a skill set (in spades) that the team that played yesterday did not show at all. Why not take him and put him on the bench over one of the Brads?

    • biff says:

      +1 If Jones or Edu would have had as many bad passes and bad free kicks they would have been rated much lower.

    • downintexas says:

      They guys were not fit. Love him or hate him, Bob Bradley had these guys fit. That is why we always came back in the last 10 min. (if need be)

      • beachbum says:

        true. Instead yesterday the team looked tired and flat from the get go

        • Rory says:

          How can guys in the middle of their season not be fit? How is that the national team coach’s fault? I don’t think it was fitness… it was something else. Maybe they didn’t believe in the strategy or didn’t believe in their teammates.

        • Josh says:

          Not only that, but they looked even worse in the last 10 minutes when we needed to pressure the ball to try and get an equalizer

        • biff says:

          In the same interview that Sigi Schmid tipped off the Eddie J. and Brad Evans, were getting called up for Honduras, he also said of the Canada game: “The team had obviously gone through a very strenuous three-week training camp, and you could see it in their legs and their play. They were a little bit heavy-legged. It felt maybe a little bit slow, a little bit off, in terms of their sharpness and quickness.”

          link to seattletimes.com

          • slimkid32 says:

            They had two light training sessions before the Honduras game. Not sure how JK is at fault for fitness there. Most of the guys did quite a bit of traveling following a game weekend in a span of a couple of days. Not sure how the Zigi Schmid comment is relevant. EJ was the only player who had significant playing time and attended that camp, which was concluded over a week ago.

      • Kevin_Amold says:

        We often came back, but we often did not, including in Costa Rica, and in Mexico. Last hex’s azteca game was in somewhat similar conditions. On the road, daytime game, goal to go ahead in teh second half, the team seemed to tire.

        I dont’ understand how these players aren’t fit, most came from European teams. Something weird came over them yesterday and they all looked fatigued, weary.

        • Josh D says:

          Poisoned food? Voodoo curse? Blackmail? Simple biology?

          • Kevin_Amold says:

            I’d go with travel and weather fatigue.

            • Bobb says:

              Because in all the previous World Cup qualifying games under Bradley and Arena over the last 12 years, there was no travel or hot weather???

              Why is that an excuse now?

              • Kevin_Amold says:

                Well, Bobbbbbbbbbb, all I’ve studied is the last hex. We played one day game (Azteca), which we lost. Even that day wasn’t as hot and humid as this one was.

                I’m just trying to figure out why we looked so lethargic.

      • Matt says:

        That’s crazy. Most of the players are in the middle of their seasons…they’re all in shape. No matter what kind of shape you’re in, flying halfway around the world, going from playing in a cold environment for months to a hot and humid one is going to take a toll on a player.

        • beachbum says:

          I would think that to be true, but the facts are that the team yesterday looked flat, tired, unfit and unable to move…not one player but the whole team

      • Could be that 7 of the starting 11 had played 2 games in the week before and then had a cross Atlantic flight then on the Honduras in the heat and humidity. I noticed that everyone on the field walked for corner kicks, throwin, etc. And yes, the entire team looked like they dead tired.

        • slimkid32 says:

          Very good comments here. Pretty sure JK is not the one to blame. I guess the obvious reasons make too much sense for some people.

    • curva sud says:

      He hasn’t looked good for Roma in the last several weeks either.

      • biff says:

        In my opinion, Zeman in recent weeks had forced MB to attack too much and it was not working so well. In my opinion, and I disagree with Jurgen on this, MB is a classic Number 6 who can shift into attack mode now and then when the opportunity presents itself. Be interesting to see how the new coach sees MB.

    • Hogatroge says:

      The Costa Rican ref was also pretty lenient… as good of a game as any for a physical player like Gatt.

    • Swifty says:

      Same could be said of adu.

  9. fischy says:

    Chandler did not look “a step slow.” He looked about three or four steps slow. I would like to think that I would have defended better than he did. And, I’m a short guy who wears glasses (not contacts) and I’m pushing 50.

  10. Matt says:

    I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a US game with so little flank play. Was there one decent cross in the entire game?

    • Josh says:

      Depends if you classify that EJ pass to Jozy as a cross. Other than that, I think the Zusi corner in the 93′ was the only one that qualifies?

    • Hogatroge says:

      Kljestan put in at least 1 good one that the forwards didn’t bother to follow through on.

      • biff says:

        the announcers called that a poor cross.

        • Hogatroge says:

          Not sure if you’re agreeing with them, or me, but I’ll stand by my thoughts.

          Somebody should have been crashing the box when Kljestan was out on the flanks. Did they expect him to hold it up for 10 seconds and still manage to get a cross off around a defender who’s had plenty of time to close him down?

          • soccerhorn says:

            Apparently they did. The fitness on the team was so poor. Kljestan was at least trying to create. He had no help other than to knock the ball back and forth with Bradley, who must have been thrilled to finally find someone on the pitch wearing blue socks to pass to.

  11. Spencer says:

    The problem is obvious, we have no wide players. When every midfielder you start is a defensive type player or box to box it shouldn’t surprise us. The only half way attack minded were forced to play wide when they got subbed in (Zusi and Kljestan). Was most disappointed with Chandler and F Johnson. Not because they played so much worse than others but because they should stand out in most games.

    • Marco says:

      Given how Olympic Qualifiers went, I don’t think we have any wide players coming through the ranks either. Except Gatt, who wasn’t at the Olympic Qualifiers of course. But you can’t depend on one guy as injuries and off-form periods will kill you.

      I’m not entirely sure we’re as good as we were ten years ago.. ten years ago we still had all this hope for Donovan and Beasley… and sure enough you can argue they delivered quite a bit on that hope. But right now, do we think we have anyone like Donovan waiting to come through?

      • Spencer says:

        only other one is Shea or Gyau, but Shea will all depend on how quickly he gets playing time and Gyau even though he moved still doesn’t play much.

      • Bobb says:

        WTF… Donovan, Shea, Pontius, Gyau, Gatt, DeLeon, Nguyen… heck even Feilhaber can play out wide better than the guys KLinsmann is currently using. Stop making excuses, the players are there. Perhaps more so than ever before.

        • slimkid32 says:

          Besides Donovan and Shea… No they are not there. To throw a bunch of unproven players at the international level into World Cup Qualifiers would be irrational and irresponsible.

          • whoop-whoop says:

            Annnnd all other reasons aside, there is the minor detail that Donovan- semi-retired, Pontius- injury, Nguyen-injury, Shea, injury…. are not even available to play.

    • shane says:

      UUUhmmm Brad Davis was on the bench and he is used to playing in the heat and humidity. I assumed his wide play was the reason he was called in but apparently not

    • biff says:

      @Spencer: Fabian’s showing was puzzling. I am baffled on that. His club form all season has hovered from average to poor. It does seem to have picked up in recent weeks with the new coach. But Fabian did not look good yesterday and was invisible the first 25 minutes of the game. It is possible, that Castillo could have been more effective yesterday than Fabian.

    • soccerhorn says:

      +1 Apparently you were watching the same game as me.

  12. shane says:

    Klinsmann and his Germans, other than Jones, with the lowest grades. Ives I hope Sunil Gulati reads your blog

    • shane says:

      And the only thing I disagree with is I think Chandler was the worst player on the pitch.

      • biff says:

        I have been warning you guys loud and clear for months about Timmy C.

        • Marco says:

          And who should have started in Timmy C’s place? Lichaj who can’t get a game at Villa or an out of season MLS’r?

          • beachbum says:

            there are many other choices Marco, come on.

            Chandler absolutely sucked yesterday, no two ways about it. Give Honduras coaching credit for smelling the blood in the water early on his flank and attacking him mercilessly. he looked like Johnny B vs. Mexico out there for cryinbg out loud.

            I wonder what the team thinks of a guy like that coming into the mix after all his BS, then getting handed the starting job straight away in a quali, only to go out and play such a stinker. it’s going to be tough on him to rebuild his confidence, my opinion, and for the team to accept him if he fails to rebuild it.

          • Felix says:

            As poor as he was yesterday, he was the only one who made sense to start. Parkhurst hasn’t even played yet for Augsburg, Lichaj can’t even make the bench for a terrible Aston Villa side, and there’s no RBs in MLS whose play is demanding a start.

            • Nate Dollars says:

              if you’ve been watching chandler, you’d know his play has been ‘demanding a start’ either. just because he’s in bundesliga doesn’t make him an automatic pick. biff’s right, and klinsmann should’ve seen the same thing.

            • Hogatroge says:

              People will want to flame me for saying this, but it makes sense if you think about it.

              Brad Evans.

              Yes, he had a 45′ stinker against Canada at AM, but he was actually really good once moved to RB. People were too blinded by the 1st half to notice.

              Plus, Evans didn’t just fly in from Europe and is an excellent athlete used to going the full 90′. He has been in camp for the last month, so his form is better than some of the other players coming in off of a break. Stamina would not have been a problem for him, and judging by the way Chandler handled the heat, Evans couldn’t have done any worse.

            • White Kix says:

              Sean Franklin also would have been much better than Chandler yesterday. Plus he plays in LA so the heat wouldn’t have been as much as a factor (since based on all the excuses from the game, Heat was teh only reason we sucked).

          • Bird says:

            Fabian Johnson Boca Gonzo Cameron
            Castillo Jones Bradley EJ
            Altidore Dempsey

            Subs – Edu for Jones, Chandler for EJ, and Gomez for Jozy.

            Think I would have went with this for a starting line-up.

            • Nate Dollars says:

              hey! that’s not a 4-3-3!

            • biff says:

              Wow, Bird, forgot about Cameron, who actually I had penned in for RB on my line up the other day.





          • biff says:

            Well, Marco (and Eurosnub), two options were sitting on the bench next to Klinsmann. One is named Michael Parkhurst, who did not decline call-ups last year but instead worked his you-know-what off for the team and performed solidly, gaining WCQ experience that would have stood him yesterday in good stead. The other is guy named Brad Evans, who has been in camp four weeks and had a good second half at RB against Canada. Plus he is very good against MLS-ers, who make up most of the Honduran team.

            But, wait, your’re right, Marco. Why in the world would Jurgen Klinsmann thing of starting them before Timmy Chandler? I forgot. Parkhurst and Evans were not born in Germany so no way can they be as good as Tim Chandler.

            Before yesterday, Chandler had declined all Gold Cup and WCQ call-ups and did not play a single game for the USMNT from autumn 2011 until November 2012 in Russia, where, quite frankly, he did not look good? Plus, his club form has been mostly average to poor.

            And I bet you guys who are in love with Chandler are going to be begging Klinsi to start him against Costa Rica. Give me a break.

            • Eurosnob says:

              Biff, Evans is a midfielder, not a right back. He played one half of a game at RB against essentially Canada’s U23 team (plus a couple of first teamers) only because both RBs and LBs were abysmal in that game. This is not enough to earn a start in a tough WC qualifier on the road. Parkhurst was not a viable option to start because he has not played in a competitive game since last November.

          • Ryan says:


            • biff says:

              Right back is his preferred position. did you see him in the Champions League. He did quite well. But, yeah, he was not born in Germany so no way can he be better than Chandler.

  13. NickCO says:

    Can we finally put to bed the 3 DMs and move to a 4-4-2?? Additionally all 3 of the DMs tend to rely more on sheparding/defensive shape rather than getting “stuck in”. We also need someone who is comfortable on the ball to allow cohesion between the midfield and strikers. I am sorry, but this man is not MB90. I much prefer him in the #6 slot. Please bring back Feilhaber (or a healthy Stu Holden) and move to a 4-4-2. We just do not have the personel for a 4-3-3, especially when EJ is forced to defend all game.

    • Dinho says:

      I agree that the 4-3-3 is a no-go. But, who plays wide for us in a 4-4-2? We need Shea to get back playing and back to form….and maybe Zusi (until Donovan comes back, if ever)? EJ is not a wide midfielder. And, there is no question that NEITHER are Jones or Williams.

      • Felix says:

        I liked EJ on the left like that. I know that’s not his natural position, but he was a decent substitute for a legit left-sided midfielder/winger.

      • PD says:

        I think a 4-3-3 can work if you midfield employs Jones in the DM role Bradley as your box to box and Dempsey as your playmaker and then have 3 forwards that can play wide and centrally, that to my mind needs to include players like Shea Zusi Gatt Bedoya or marauding wingbacks. If that can’t happen, use a 4-2-2-2 like we did last campaign and don’t fix what ain’t broke.

        • Dan says:

          we still lack the talent and depth for a 4-3-3….Mr. Bradly knew it…why can’t JK? Play to your strengths ad grow the talent pool …as JK says – It’s a process, but then stupidly tries to force it rather than build

    • slimkid32 says:

      The midfield playe(s) everyone wants in the starting xi just don’t exist. Benny is not the guy and neither is anyone else in the current pool. We are who we are.

  14. Dinho says:

    3.5 is being overly kind to Chandler. He and Williams were neck and neck for the worst player on the field. Absolute nightmares. Agree that Edu looked sharp. I still cannot get over the fatigue shown by most of the squad within the first 30 minutes. Was it that hot? That humid? I don’t get it.

    • shane says:

      I would have like to see Davis and Gomez in there – both used to the heat/humidity and didnt have to travel nearlly as far

      • Chicago Josh says:

        You can throw Castillo into that mix as well.

        • Marco says:

          Heat and humidity? Wasn’t it like 80 degrees there yesterday?

          • Zaggy says:

            It was in the 90s with 60%+ humidity. It was indeed warm, but both teams had to play in it, and we really seemed unprepared for it.

            • slimkid32 says:

              Honduras just finished the Copa Centroamericana, one: giving them 4 games to play together before facing us. Two: Any acclamation to the weather was already achieved

          • Rory says:

            I looked it up. 84 Degrees, 74% humidity, heat index of 92…
            Here’s a handy place to check heat index for coaches, as most states have rules requiring extra water breaks when the heat index gets over 100.

            link to hpc.ncep.noaa.gov

      • Dinho says:

        Totally agree. Jozy should have been subbed early. He was gassed. Gomez would have definitely provided some spark (as he always does). And, Davis would have been a better fit out wide than EJ. I’m baffled.

  15. Dennis says:

    I thought Klinsmann should be rated lower than Chandler. Beyond what i think were poor tactics by Klinsmann, when you look at the roster, Howard, Bradley, Dempsey and maybe Jones are what pass for the core of this team. Every other player is left to wonder if he will start or even be called in for the next game. Boca’s exclusion says more about Klinsmann’s lack of understanding group dynamics than it does about his tactical acumen, we all know Boca is getting old. His is NOT a recipe for building team cohesion, there is so much unsettled, even those 4 must wonder what is going on and who will be next to him, or if even they will be dropped. That uncertainty is not a recipe to mold a group that will fight for one another. Bob Bradley was much better at that and at tinkering just a bit. When B. Bradley had surprise selections like Casey or Hejduk, they seemed to fit in and one can argue they were key players that were responsible for a needed win in Honduras and an important tie in Panama.

  16. Gord Downie says:

    Hindsight is 20-20 but I said it before the game and I’ll say it again.. IMO, should have been….

    —————J.F. Torres——————

    -Dempsey in a roaming roll
    -Gomez giving us width
    -Balanced midfield three, with one of the 3 always holding deeper.
    -Orozco Fiscal should have been called up instead of BOTH Besler and Omar.. Call up one of the 2..
    -Start Omar in the first home game.

    • Dinho says:

      Really? No Fabian Johnson? Although he struggled yesterday, that was the first bad showing I’ve seen from him in a Nats jersey.

    • Josh says:

      Fiscal over Besler and Gonzalez and starting over Boca is just ridiculous

    • Bobb says:

      Thanks for the laugh!

      • soccerhorn says:

        Orozco Fiscal? Seriously? Based on what, his stellar work with the Nats to date?

        You’re obviously a Mexico fan, and that’s ok, those players should be getting more run. But come on. Maybe give Castillo a shot on the wing. That’s about it.

  17. Alexandria says:

    Think Chandlers score is too high he was gassed by the 15th minute, and was abused by Costly! I dont care that we lost its how we lost, for once I want us to come out gyns blazing and push the game. But for this team to do it we must play a system that fits the personnel and a 4-3-3 just isnt this team. Without speed on the flanks and a honey badger in front of the d this performance is what we’ll get.

    • Hogatroge says:

      I don’t see how flaming obstetricians would have helped us, but maybe I’m missing something…

  18. Eric says:

    Ives, Picking Gonzalez over Bocanegra is only a mistake if you actually think Boca would have done anything better. Considering how unconvincing Boca is at the back, I have some serious doubts that he would have been any more effective than Gonzalez was.

    • beachbum says:

      Boca’s experience alone is why he should have started, especially since Chandler has some how been grandfathered in to the right back position even though he just now finally committed!

      ridiculous decisions from the coaching staff, and they came back to bite hard.

      • brad says:

        I agree.. you have to start Boca at center left back.. as he and Howard have played many many games together….

        I dont blame Klinsmann for starting Chandler.. If I were the coach and had no Cherundolo, I would of done the same. Only change would be that I would of had Cameron next to him..

  19. Jonathon says:

    That’s too high of a grade to Klinsmann. Also think that the description of EJ’s cross to Jozy in the first half as “nice” is too kind. Needed to be at his feet or on his head, not at chest-level where Jozy could only fling his foot up at it.

  20. Richard Paz says:

    I didn’t have a problem with their mistakes.. inexperience..when are they going to get experience ?

    Start now.. continue with Gonzalez and Cameron backline

    why start Johnson over Gomez ?

    Gomez can cover the field and has ability to give the ball atlidore and dempsey

  21. Don Dallas says:

    One more grade:

    thefirstrow.eu (0)- I’m still trying to clear the viruses after trying to use this streaming service. The pop-up windows were coming fast and furious from the moment I furst clicked. still trying to uninstall the programs dumped on my hard drive.

    • Josh says:

      You must be new to firstrow. It works great, but you have to be able to read what the pages says. All of that text that says don’t download anything isn’t joking. Just click the X’s in all of the ads and you’re fine. You don’t need any of the apps the ads tell you to download. Hope this helps for next time

      • Don Dallas says:

        Thanks. I thought I was doing exactally what you said. I just tried Link 1, then Link 2, then Link3.

        At one point I did get good commentary and slow video, but with two ads in the middle that would not go away.

  22. biff says:

    Does everyone remember 18 months ago, that first friendly against Mexico 18 months ago and the exuberant attitudes and fight-like-heck mentality and reaching for the stars and it’s a new dawn. It lasted awhile, but it’s been slowly disappearing over the past year and I saw no sign of it yesterday. Reminds me of a ol’ blues song.

    The Thrill is Gone — B.B. King
    link to youtube.com

  23. Brian says:

    It looks like everyone is completely confused out there. I don’t think Omar deserved that bad of grade, chandler and the defensive mids did him no favors in that game and on the goal it was Cameron and Howard that should have cleaned it up. Overall everyone played tentative and confused both on the and off the ball. I know it is the first game but since klinsmann has taken over that has been the product minus a couple of friendlies.

    • brian hartman says:

      Dude, the man Omar was marking waltzed right by for the tap in…

      • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

        not to mention him letting someone else close down the guy who played the initial cross in for the first goal. He was right there to close down the space and deny the cross then proceeded to turn around and mark no one. He got completely lost on the field for both goals. Switch off for 1 second at this level and you get punished. Hopefully its lesson learned.

        Don’t get me started on the passing from the CBs either..passing may be too generous a word. they were just kicking it. looked like my little brother’s team.

      • brad says:


      • Rory says:

        It was right out of Fifa 13, you know when your keeper is out of position but the ball deflects and none of your other defenders bother blocking out an opponent and you yell “Bullcrap… no defender on the planet just quits his duty like that! How could you leave a man completely alone!”

    • beachbum says:

      Omar cleaned up a lot of crap back there, but he blew it on that goal. Got to call out Cameron and Howard on that one too. They EACH had that play bottled up yet failed

      • josh says:

        I am a goalkeeper, and I always come to the defense of keepers, but that goal is on Howard. Certainly Cameron should have cleared it, but if Howard was coming out screaming for it, it is completely understandable that Cameron would back off. He looked like he was trying to screen the Honduran, who just snuck around him. And if Howard was coming out, but not screaming for it, what was he coming out for? Seeing Howard coming at him is still gonna throw Cameron off. Call it+come out+get it, or none of the above.

        • josh says:

          And on that note, in the player grades, you can’t give both Howard and Cameron a pass ’cause the other might have been at fault. It was the game winning goal. Knock a point off of Howard, and a .5 off of Cameron.

          As if it actually matters what the grades are… :)

        • Matt says:

          Agreed, but even though Cam and Howard both could have done better, they did force him to play the ball square, where Gonzales should have been there to clean it up.

      • Dennis says:

        Yes, both Howard and Cameron made bad plays before Gonzalez did and it was a poor pass by Bradley that started it all.
        There is enough egg to go around on that one. But I do think Boca would have at least tried to get in the way earlier.

  24. Charles Fix says:

    The question for me is how much of a responsibility does Landon have. It IS his life. But on the other hand, everyone of us would give our left nut to be in his place and he is not taking it.
    Isn’t that morally wrong ? It has to be.

    So now he is in the place of the greatest ever. MLS Cups galore, World Cup successes, best US goal in World Cup, biggest moment too. He completely cements that if the turns around this disaster and the US does really well.

    Isn’t there an obligation there, for all of us that aren’t being offered the left ball exchange for greatness….there has to be.

    • Rory says:

      You ever need to take time off from work? Is it your fault the guy that is supposed to fill in for you screws up? Is it your moral obligation because that guy screwed up?

    • beachbum says:

      blaming LD for yesterday is comedy, thanks for the levity

      • PD says:

        Agreed. US soccer cannot control the actions of one player, but it has a responsibility to have a culture that will cultivate the next generation of golden players. US soccer needs to address the fact that LD leaves some huge shoes to fill, not LD. Same goes for Dempsey, Howard Cherundolo, and yes even the much underaporeciated Bocanegra. these were and are tremendous players who need to have their repmacements groomed and blooded now. i’d much rather it happen in friendlies, but that was not JK’s call and yesterday we got bit for it as was already mentioned. Thiswill be an ugly process, but it’s anecessary one. There is no “good time” for it, and personally I think a qualifier irks THE most I opportune time to do that.

        Hopefully JK begins to give his opponents more respect than a paper lineup would suggest he should.

      • Charles Fix says:

        Beachbum – I don’t think that you quite get the meaning of “levity” seeing as you don’t seem to be taking this very seriously…..did you just see others post it and think it sounded neat ?

        • beachbum says:

          levity–Humor or frivolity, esp. the treatment of a serious matter with humor or in a manner lacking due respect.

          I know what it means and anm using it correctly :)

        • beachbum says:

          levity–Humor or frivolity, esp. the treatment of a serious matter with humor or in a manner lacking due respect.

          I know what it means and anm using it correctly

  25. brian hartman says:

    It was such a flat performance, and a lot of the qualifiers leading up to the hex felt similar. It’s not like we dominated to get into the hex. It seems like the players aren’t “buying in” with Jurgen. You have to wonder if the four “germericans” are really playing for the badge (and if they’re may be unspoken tension in the locker room)…which to me is what has always been the hallmark of our national teams. We’ve never been as skilled as a lot of teams, even in Concacaf, but I’ve always felt like we’ve played our balls off when it mattered. I’m not sensing that with Jurgen’s team. I loathed Bornstein every time he was on the field, but I could never deny the dude was busting his a$$. And why do we continue to play guys out of position???? +1 on enough of two (and three) defensive mids!!!!!!!!!!! I had hoped that would leave with Bob B. All of our best national team results in the last two decades have come while playing 4-4-2….we need to stay with it. At least Mexico drew at home…

    • brian hartman says:

      and Jones taking set pieces????? ouch

      • Jones didn’t do too bad. I’d expected Bradley to take the corner kick as he usually does well with that. Actually, Torres does great corner kicks which would allow Bradley to be in the box. Bradley’s one corner kick went out over the goal, which only shows that he, along with the rest of the team, just didn’t have the energy to play at the top level. Two many games in the week before, along with travel and the oppressive weather for the game.

    • brian hartman says:



      It hurts, but Boca and Dolo just won’t have the legs in 2014

      • ed - houston says:

        sounds reasonable but we are in early 2013 and Boca and Dolo can still play now. i understand, ultimately, they need to be replaced for WC2014

    • biff says:

      It’s hard to judge from afar. But my feeling is that Fabian Johnson and Terrence Boyd are fully accepted. But it would not surprise me if there is some major grumbling about Chandler, especially after the comically horror performance he did yesterday. Jones and Williams not sure.

  26. Mc says:

    Did anyone else notice the terrible set plays? I saw maybe one or two decent corners. Having a guy like Gonzales up there only helps if you have a guy like Donovan taking the corners. Seems like Davis could have helped in this area.

    • Bird says:

      I noticed this as well. It wasnt just the US though, Honduras was also having issues with their set plays. The ball was getting a lot of lift on any crosses, corners or free kicks.

    • Felix says:

      To be fair, Donovan’s delivery on set pieces were inconsistent as well.

    • josh says:

      How about Bradley’s free kick from inside midfield, with time running out, and everyone getting forward? When he passed it right to a Honduran player? WTF? That is how the whole game felt.

    • biff says:

      MB’s corner toward the end that tickled the stratosphere and ended up out of play was a shocker.

  27. Felix says:

    Klinsmann is falling into the trap of so many other coaches – he has “his guys” regardless of club form or performance on the pitch during games. He plays Williams and Jones no matter what. I understood playing Williams over Jones and Edu 5 months ago – but now that has to change because Jones’ performance on the pitch with the USMNT has been poor, and Williams’ club form has been non-existent since he’s been benched; and that has been apparent during national team games. Beckerman and Torres were Klinsmann guys, but their national team performances didn’t warrant continual looks.
    The Gonzalez/Cameron pairing is the medicine we will have to deal with for the time being. Most people were ready boot Goodson and Onyewu and bid Bocanegra goodbye. But that inexperience was apparent yesterday. If you want younger, inexperienced CBs in the backline to usher in a new era and phase out the veterans – you will see goals scored against us like yesterday. Pick your poison.
    I have a hard time getting on our forwards cases when they see so little service. Our fullbacks aren’t effective when they push up, we play with defensive midfielders who show little creativity and we want to bemoan our forwards?!?!? I could see the frustration if Altidore was missing chance after chance. But that’s not the case, how many chances does he get. He scores buckets of goals for AZ because he gets service!!! He gets little to nothing here because he expected to run around and pressure the ball and maybe get 1 or 2 half chances a game.

  28. the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

    maybe I’m being overly optimistic but I’m assuming LD comes back by the March qualifiers. if hes there I’d like to see something similar to this


    if not maybe:


    Jones needs to simplify his game. He is a good player but loses the ball far too often when he tries to go froward. Just sit back, work hard, win the ball, play a simple pass (the Beckerman role with more able player basically)

  29. dan says:

    Ives…. Love all the response from the US v Honduras game! Watched ESPN sportscenter this morning and it was the first story! (even before national signing day stories!)

  30. Keith G. says:

    I dont think adding another deffensive player in Edu is the answer, the team needs more of an offensive threat so that the ball is consitantly on the other teams half. I say Zusi should be starting over Williams. The team really needs the high paced and ball moving offense to score the goals and dominate through out. As for the deffense I think Klinsmann made the right choices, the problem is they havent played together before so its going to take time for them to gel. Yes they are proffesionals and should have done better, but I say give them time and every game they will get better.

    ——————– Howard

    • ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

      I would be ok with this, but I would prefer Dempsey a little more centrally.

    • Felix says:

      There’s two issues here:
      1) its the defensive midfielders being chosen, I believe there should be two out there in the field since our backline is in such flux right now. Since he’s the best all-around CM we have, I think Bradley should be out there all the time, then its just picking which one is in the best form at the moment. To me, that’s Edu.
      2) stop playing holding midfielders as outside midfielders and pick natural wide players to create width. Task our fullbacks to stay home more, since our backline does have so many issues. The natural wide players will create the width we desperately need and give our forwards, Altidore and Dempsey, the service they need.

      • biff says:

        What I would like, is next time Klinsmann holds a press conference is for some journalist to grow some big ones and finally confront Klinsmann directly. Ask some hard questions? Journalist do this of the England and Germany and Spain coaches, but not the USMNT coach.

  31. Scott says:

    People always bagged on Bradley for being too defensive minded… but we knew how to defend and then counter with speed. Like it or hate it, there was a style, a plan in place that was obvious to see. Dempsey and Donovan were deployed wide and given space to cut inside and make things happen and do so at speed. Now we are kings of 2 touch mindless square and back passes. Klinsi says he wants possession based soccer but it’s possession for possession’s sake. We have no attacking thrust. Honestly we aren’t good enough to string 15-20 passes together. Give me Bradley any day. I didn’t love everything about Bob but I actually think he produced better attacking soccer which is amazing to consider.

  32. Omar Little says:

    I’ve always been a huge MB fan but he looked terrible last night. One of the worst games I have seen him play in a while. Gave the ball away in the middle of the field to be considered the best field player on the day.

  33. Big Chil says:

    Jozy still has a crap squat for team pics. Knock him down to 3.5.

  34. MJC-DC says:

    I’d like to see one of Gatt or Shea on a wing. A midfield trio (seems to be preferred by klinsy) with a little more attack minded players. Stewie (Unlikely he’ll be ready)/Mix/Corona/Zusi along with Bradley and Edu /Jones as a 6.

  35. I don’t think there was anything wrong with the game plan. Up to Dempsey’s goal, it was working. For some reason, we think that the US needs to create 100 chances a game. No, we only need to create a couple. In the first half, we did create a couple of nice chances and one was put away.

    If you are coming out of winter and playing in 90 degree heat, fitness is going to be an issue. The Hondurans did everything to make those factors an advantage for them.

    There are a couple of things to consider:

    1. Last time the US lost to Honduras was after they had played together in the Copa America. The US had a long break from each other before that game too. Yesterday’s game came after Honduras were able to play together in the Torneo Centroamericano. It obviously benefitted them as their team chemistry was far stronger than ours. Their impact players on the game participated in that tournament.

    2. Up to the Dempsey’s goal, the US did fine and were following the plan. The tactics were sound.

    3. Chandler was the disappointment in the game. It was his mistake that led to the corner, which led to the goal against us. If that had not happen, I don’t think we would have led to a loss.

    4. CONCACAF is getting more competitive. Honduras have quality players too. Jamaica held Mexico to a 0-0 tie in Azteca. It was never going to be a cake walk and it is not going to be.

    Good news in all of this is that all the other games ended in a tie. There are 9 more games to go. I think the March fixtures will be better because the team will be together a little longer.

    For several years, everyone has been screaming for the inclusion of Omar Gonzalez. Now that he has been included, everyone is saying, “maybe he should not have played.” Oh brother.

    • Rory says:

      84 degree heat.

      I think you are on to something though about the team not being together. Our January camp is a collection of b-squads, which is understandable as our European guys aren’t going to be there… but that puts us in a bad spot. But this team didn’t look like a team, which really showed in our passing.

    • MJC-DC says:

      Agree with a lot of points. That said two shots on target just doesn’t sit well with me. I think the offense can and will do better.

      • Josh says:

        Offense can definitely do better. I think the “will” do better part depends on who JK puts in the game. Generally need offensive players in the game to play offense

    • Nate Dollars says:

      i know you’re exaggerating, but no one’s saying we need to create 100 chances; most of us would just settle for 7 or 8.

      usually it takes a couple of chances to get a goal, which is what we got. if all we want is 1 goal per game, then i guess we’re all set. but if we want to win games, then we’re going to need more than that (esp with our defense).

  36. cps says:

    I still can’t wrap my head around the nonchalant work rate the team showed, especially on defense. They seemed absolutely unconcerned when a Honduran attacker received a ball in our defensive half. There was no urgency in closing down attackers and forcing turnovers. Chandler literally looked like he’d rather take a nap than close down and dispossess a Honduran attacker. Ironically, the USMNT is historically panned as “lots of hustle and little skill” and they showed show zero hustle, zero desire. Such a letdown.

    • brian hartman says:

      another +1

    • Dinho says:

      Could not agree more!!! The failure to close down the ball was unbelievable!!! Especially, Chandler!!! I was literally screaming at the TV, good thing I had a couple Boddingtons to calm me down. :)

    • super star says:

      Agree, this was the real problem yesterday.

    • Nate Dollars says:

      and another +1. use it wisely.

    • biff says:

      There were a few times in that game it was like it was like some of the USMTN players were moving in slow motion or not even paying attention to the game. Weird.

    • Stump says:

      Now that Chandler is cap-tied, it will be interesting to see if JK gives him a little motivation lesson (ala Jozy) … he surely deserves it. Agree with others that there is a tm chemestry issue with him. Perceived a lot of negative body language fm him. And, was it my eyes or did he seem to be carrying a lot of extra pounds around his hips (I realize he generally looks bigger there)? Agree Parkhurst and Cam could be options.

  37. Chicago Josh says:

    In hindsight, I feel like the US Men peaked during the summer/fall of 2009, and the downfall began with key injuries to Charlie Davies, Oguchi Onyewu, and Stu Holden. The successful run during World Cup 2010 was fool’s gold: The USA received an outstanding draw, grouped with overrated England and two of the weakest teams of the tourney in Slovenia and Algeria.

    For the past decade we have heard a lot of hype about the next great things coming out of the U-17, U-20, and U-23 programs, and not many of those players appear ready to make an impact anytime soon. Now these same teams are failing to qualify out of CONCACAF qualifying for their respective World Cups. Yesterday’s starting lineup featured four Germans with American fathers.

    The Klinsi Experiment is not working, as he was exposed as a poor tactician before he ever took this job. Please forgive me if I feel like the sky is falling.

    • super star says:

      I do not forgive you. Take your quitter attitude and go away!

    • Gaelen says:

      The US had its highest winning percentage ever last year, so while we might have struggled a little in qualifying this loss is not the end of the world. I think people forget that Jozy, Bradley, F. Johnson, Chandler, and Gonzalez are all 25 or younger–meaning that half our starting lineup is the younger generation we have been told about. Add in Gatt, Mix, Corona, Torres, Boyd, Shea, etc and we have better young talent than we have ever had. The problem is we are in transition from the Dempsey, Donovan, Boca, and Cherundolo generation. Finding and integrating these younger players is going to result in some games like the one we just watched.

      I think Klinsman’s midfield choices are much to conservative, but hopefully Mix, Holden, Torres, Corona, etc can push their way in. Though at present none have made a strong case that they cannot be left out of the side.

  38. Turd Bradley says:

    Chandler can be blamed for the first goal giving up the corner but Gonzo is also at fault, when the ball goes over everyone and is rolling to the other corner we must keep pressure on that guy. He backed off and had someone else run out to defend that guy. If he sprints out there is at least a difficult serve at best and most likely the Honduran guy most likely plays negative. If you have pressure ( ball rolling into the corner and no person on the ball) keep pressure ( gonzo keep closing him down)

    However, I couldn’t help but think that was a JK tactic worked on because it looked Gonzo wanted to go but then had a second thought of get back in the box.

    Other then that how are we going to create chances with 2.5 defensive mids, no width and a striker that can’t play when he has to find the game himself. Play Jozy at home and Herc on the road. We need Landy so bad

  39. Primoone says:

    “Worst player on the field. Had very little impact on the game, and was flat out overrun by Honduran midfielders. He made everybody’s job harder and it is extremely difficult to see him starting games come March.”

    While almost every professional analyst who has played the game at that level sees it completely different.

    • 2tone says:

      Really becasue most of what I ahev seen mentions WIlliams probably should not have been starting. Williams was poor you don’t need to be a pro analyst to see that.

    • biff says:

      I agree. I did not think Williams should even get an invite and posted the other day I did think he would see the field, let alone start. But it is harsh and unfair to try to sacrifice Williams as the scapegoat. There is plenty of blame to go around. Do we have stats on passing? I lost count of how many time MB lost the ball, a couple of times passing directly to Honduran players. He played well last October, but yesterday was bad.

  40. NC Jeff says:

    For all those that were calling for Bob Bradley’s head not that long ago, I have a question (most especially for those that instead wanted Klinsman): Have you liked what you’ve seen so far?

    I ask because in Bradley’s 4.5 years, the USMNT won a 1st AND 2nd place in the Gold Cup, a 2nd place in the Confederations Cup, won a WCQ Semifinal Group AND Final Group, and won their WC Group … whereas at this point, I’d be ecstatic to see a 3rd place finish in qualifying … thank goodness both of the other WCQ games ended in a draw.

    Oh, if you’re curious: Bradley has Egypt at 6 pts. through 2 games in CAF 2nd Rd. qualifying … in great shape to win their group and advance to a home-and-away playoff with another group winner for a birth in Brazil.

    • Gaelen says:

      Best winning percentage last year. And you do realize that the US hasn’t played in a Gold Cup, hasn’t finished WCQ, and is not in the confederations cup right? Seeing as the both other games tied we are not in terrible position, and we are in the process of transitioning to generation of players, which, while it will certainly pay off in the long run, could come with some growing pains.

      • NC Jeff says:

        Yes, I do realize those points. I also realize that the US was in real danger in their final semi WCQ game of not even getting to the hex. I also realize that, under Bradley, the US was in only 2 Gold cups and 1 WCQ (winning 2 of them and finishing 2nd in the other). That said, I truly hope that these ARE just “growing pains” and not just a lot of bad coaching decisions. I’m hoping you’re right that I am just being pessimistic …

  41. Nate Dollars says:

    ives, neither howard nor bradley should be above a 5.5

    bradley had a poor game (not just for him–for anyone): along with his turnovers, he was also partially at fault for the first goal.

    howard only made the saves that any keeper would be expected to save, and as the veteran, he takes responsibility for the howler on the second goal.

  42. zlh says:

    The problem with the US right now is that they have a coach that is using a system that does not match the group of players that he has at his disposal. The reason why the US has been so successful with past coaches is because they have been able to match line ups to the strengths of the players. I seems as if the players lack more and more ideas with each passing game. Doesn’t Klinsi see that they players do not match his system and that it is time for him to adjust and quit trying to put players in positions that they do not belong. If he wants players to be creative and be confident putting players in formations and positions that they play in on a regular basis seems to the most logical solution to fixing this team’s lack of cohesion. Tinker time is far from over Klinsi. US player don’t know how to play in your dumb 4-3-3 system with 3 defensive midfielders. The 4-4-2 is what American players have grown up with and know the best. Time to start trusting your players so that they will put a little trust into you Klinsi.

  43. Dan says:

    We are missing 3 things and until JK figures it out we will continue to look like this.

    1. We need a true speed forward. An Ernie Stewart Cobi Jones type who can spread the field. Josh Gatt is that player.

    2. We need a player in the midfield capable of taking players on and pushing the ball through the midfield. Brek Shea is that man.

    3. We need a defensive bruiser. An enforcer. Not sure who that player is.

    We’re missing critical components to our team. We have holding strikers with little skill or speed. We have box to box midfielders who don’t have speed. We have large lanky finesse defenders.
    This is a disaster.

    • Nate Dollars says:

      agree, and disagree.

      1. i hope gatt will be that forward, but i don’t think so. i think he’ll end up as a donovan: more valuable driving it up the field.

      2. gatt or shea could fill this role, but neither right now, i don’t think.

      3. Jones. he could easily be our enforcer; i think ideally he would drop back to take williams’ place, and a more attacking/creative mid would take jones’ spot.

      and, no matter what this last game showed, bradley is our box-to-box with speed. if he has someone enforcing behind him, and someone creating beside him, we don’t need anyone else but him in the center of the field. as long as he doesn’t play like he did yesterday.

  44. fliffy says:

    You know who I miss? Maybe it will sound crazy but: Jay DeMerit

    • zlh says:

      I agree. This team needs player that are going to leave everything out on the field. This is one of those types of players. He maybe over 30, but at least you know what you are going to get when he steps on the field. 100% commitment.

  45. Josh says:

    Anybody else look at Timmy Chandler on the team picture and think he probably had that look all day when trying to play defense?

    • biff says:

      ha-ha. And that reminds me, the Honduran coach did his homework, was a beter judge of Chandler lack of form than Klinsmann. Honduras new Chandler was the week point and they went for it from the first minute.

  46. Anthony says:

    The back line needs time to gel. I wouldn’t change much, and I think they realized the mistakes they made.


    Gomez could be switched with Altidore and can be replaced by Shea coming in on the left side. An attacking midfield where dempsey can float into the 10 spot while allowing for combination between him and the midfield. Build up play can come from the right when gomez is in, and can be spread out to the left wide if altidore gets switched with gomez and shea is brought in. Altidore is great on back end diagonal runs into the box. We need quality to get it to him.

    • Turd Bradley says:

      Benny at attacking mid? He was awful in MLS

    • kimo says:

      I like your thought process, but I’m not sure about your selections.

    • dan says:

      Push Dempsey back into Feilhabers role, thats how he’s been playing at Spurs for a lot fo the season

    • biff says:

      ah, Anthony. May I ask a question? You really want to see Chandler get bossed again, next time by speedy Costa Ricans? Maybe we should go to Plan B on the right back position and let Timmy Chandler spend some time on the bench in Denver.

    • Amru says:

      I like this line up a lot actually, I would just switch Altidore and Dempsey. And people complain about feilhaber, but we need that creative spark in the midfield and like it or not he’s probably our best option.

    • adam tash says:

      ————— holden———-—————-
      — Dempsey———-Altidore–

  47. Matt C in Tampa says:

    And the Howard love-fest by the press continues. No one deserved more than a 5

    • dan says:

      if it wasn’t for Timmy we would’ve lost 5-1, so open ur freaking eyes

      • josh says:

        Nope. He made saves that any pro keeper should make. His defense did not look like it was organized by anyone exceptional, and he blew the game winning goal.

  48. dan says:

    If we want to win in March this is what needs to be done (HOPING and PRAYING that Donovan stops being a selfish prat)



    • elmatador says:

      +1….people need to realize we’re not or probably will never be a 4-3-3 team..We’re a 4-4-2 team…Bradley and Jones and Wings…that’s what we need.

  49. harry says:

    I still say you need brad davis on left wing for a number of reasons:

    1. He is a left footed player
    2. He has led MLS the last two seasons in assists
    3. He is the best dead ball and corner kick player in MLS right now
    4.He is use to playing ing in the high humidity in Houston
    5. He is not as slow as everyone thinks he is
    6. He plays very good one and two touch soccer which leads to his high assist record
    7. He doesn’t give away possesion easily

    I just think klinsmann needs to give him a chance, he can’t do worse than what we saw yesterday

  50. Carlos says:

    The “experiment” That Klinsman was trying was fine, but by this time he should’ve had a conclusion for a system, and players that fit that system. He’s had enough time to figure that out and he hasn’t. I agree that this game should’ve been played with majority Mex/MLS/Scandinavia players and an additional 3-4 European based players. It’s what’s been done in qualifying before and worked.

    Going forward, we need Shea as that left wide-out. He’s not afraid to take people on and that results in opportunities created. I’d also like to see Gatt as well for the same reason. Those two and the addition of Mix woul allow for the movement and service that Jozy thrives for.

    As far as the defensive side is concerned, Chandler will grown into that right side and FJohnson is solid at the left. Gonzalez maybe the CB of the future but he needs the guidance of Bocanegra. Let Bocanegra start and have Gonzalez get more comfortable with the A team. Had he not been injured in Germany tgi wouldn’t have been a problem. Unfortunately, it happend and Bocanegra still plays in Europe consistently.

  51. A.S. says:

    I don’t have BeIn Sport and didn’t see the game, so have no comment on the player grades. But it sounds to me that the grade for the coach is exactly right.

  52. MikeG says:

    Might have to bring in Beasley for the March game as a LMF. Fabian Johnson needs to play LMF or as a ‘playmaker’ in front of Bradley or Jones. Might have to play Dempsey as a RMF. Klinnsman needs to stop talking about players playing regular minutes for there club, striving for success, and then putting Danny Williams in the game. Otherwise Klinnsman is only playing lip service politics. We need players playing in there correct positions. Make the formation based on the players you have. If you have 3 Defensive Midfielders and no proper formation for 3 Defensive Midfielders then the formation really needs to be looked at because at least 2 should be sitting.. A 4-3-3 requires a very offensive minded line-up and not 3 Defensive Midfielders making up your midfield. Soccer 101 basics. This is not the first time this has happened. JK has been a repeat offender. He WILL do this again. We have Beasley, a GAM, who can play on the wing. Who would be the other winger on the right (count Donovan out). The personnel ARE available, like a resource, but that resource is not being utilized, and only the coaching staff can answer that.

    • MikeG says:

      When Klinnsman talks about creating chances, but does not employ those players who do it best in the player pool, I do not buy into what he says anymore.

    • Judging Amy says:

      If Beasley still had it, don’t you think JK would call him in? The man is no dummy. He sees what all of us see (serious lack of wing play and creativity). If we had the players, I think he would call them in.

      • beachbum says:

        so Amy, I love your posts, but do really think it’s better to have JJ out htere instead of Bedoya/Benny so Williams can play the destroyer role? Even Zusi is a better choice don’t you think?

        or on the other side you could play Davis and still slide JJ in for Williams, and create some width. I think i’ts JK’s choice to play this way, wanting Johnson and Chandler to charge forward, but that is asking alot from their legs

      • MikeG says:

        Beasley still does have it as well as lots of other players not being called in. Some players need to be consistent on there club team. I understand that and respect that. Some how this does not apply to Danny Williams…I’m not saying Danny Williams is a bad player..players get hot and cold..he is cold recently with his club team, but he plays in a WCQ? Trying to figure out the logic and what kind of system is on Klinnsman’s mind. Do we have world class players on D, MF, and F? We have some world class defenders, MF, and Forwards, but not the whole roster. Jose Torres would have been outstanding on the LW, but not playing at Jermaine Jones Defensive Midfield spot. Jermaine Jones is not a wing player. Michael Bradley is not a forward. Jozy Altidore is not a defender. For argument sake looking at Beasley and Torres in the same position: Beasley is World Cup, Gold Cup, WCQ battle tested. Beasley is faster than Torres with the ball at his feet. The USMNT should not be involved with player development…I have posted this as often as I can…the USMNT should be utilizing finished products with the intent of tournament play.

  53. Michael Stypulkoski says:

    Pretty much agree with everything here. Bradley and Edu were the only players who showed anything. (I single out Edu specifically for praise. If anyone on the team had an excuse to look rusty it was him, but he looked as sharp as anyone out there.) Jones and Dempsey connected for one moment of class, but take that away and they offered nothing. Zusi looked eager but ineffective. Howard made some nice saves (which we’ve come to expect), but shares the blame for Honduras’ winner.

    Just a pathetic showing. Klinsmann has rightly been criticized for his selections, but the players who were out there looked lethargic and disinterested. A shameful performance all around.

  54. MiamiAl says:

    I was surprised not to see Herculez Gomez at all, much less start…

    • DREAM says:

      How about:


      • biff says:

        hey, Dream. I agree, at this late stage the team starting line-up needs a major shake up. I like to see Castillo get a start over Johnson and Jozy pulled from the line-up and two d-mids playing as holding midfielders. So yeah, nice post

        By the way, I have feeling you normally post here under a different name (I think I know which name you normally use). Why didn’t you post under your usual name? Were you afraid of getting torched or something by a couple of jerks? If so, do not understand.

  55. 2tone says:

    I think things will be better in Denver, but Bryan Ruiz and Saborio are going to be a handful.

    Players I could see in the mix for the March qualifiers:

    Lando, Shea, Holden, Feilhaber, Corona, Boyd, Agudelo

  56. MikeG says:

    All this talk about field conditions, weather conditions, environmental conditions, whatever…there is an opponent on the other bench and other side of the field. Before the game everything is nearly 90% coach and 10% player. On game day it is 90% player and 10% coach. Refer to player and coach ratings from SBI.

  57. Ryan B says:

    this game made me want to watch women’s soccer…Just kidding, women’s soccer sucks

  58. Adam M. says:

    Tactics are always a debate, but the only bad decision was starting Eddie Johnson instead of Zusi or some other offensive minded mid in a spot screaming for that type of player with Dempsey up top. Everything else was bad performance and execution. Williams is the only player who moves into the questionable category (Jones should move there). Chandler and everyone else get a pass this time but not next time. US got lucky that everyone else tied. A (must) win against Costa Rica rights the ship, and Mexico is the real test of what we have going into 2014. Whatever doesn’t work after the next two games needs to go.

  59. TroyJim says:

    A good manager makes a team 10% better and a bad manager makes it 30% worse.

    JK’s lineup did not make the team better.

    1. Not enough has been said about the omission of Herc. Gomez. He has been playing and playing well in weather conditions similar to those of last night. His running/hustle and nose for goal would have been a big plus.
    2. Has Cameron ever played left center back? Given how few reps he has had at right center back, to put him out there as the “experienced one” of the back four is a bit of a joke.
    3. To my knowledge the German-American rookies, Williams, Chandler, and F. Johnson, have never played a meaningful match in the kind of weather-plus-crowd conditions that they encountered last night. All three of them wilted (Jones was not far behind) and JK should have been prepared for this. Williams in particular seemed a very bad choice.

    Klinsman is looking to take the US team to the next level. The fact is, however, our talent pool is limited and Klinsman has to be careful that the next level is not “down-one.”

  60. THomas says:

    We need to employe a 4-4-2, or in my opinion, a 4-2-3-1. There is plenty of attacking thrust in a 4-2-3-1. Chelsea comes to mind when thinking of a team that employs it well.


    • MikeG says:

      Jones and Bradley as a Defensive Midfield pair is a great idea in a 3-5-2 or 4-4-2 (box midfield). Jones and Bradley in a diamond midfield has been tried a few times, but Bradley just not get forward enough to make that work. In a diamond midfield a playmaker type needs to be in front of the defensive midfielder ( a good passer). I am thinking Dempsey, but I like Dempsey playing as a poacher/forward (Dempsey just scores and needs to play near the net). If Klinnsman and everybody else thinks we have no wingers (I disagree) then we can go to a box midfield with two attacking midfielders in front of Jones and Bradley. Who would be those two attacking midfielders?

      • MikeG says:

        Dempsey playing as a forward would of course provide some assists to Altidore….Imagine that everybody.

  61. Will L says:

    Pretty much a spot on assessment, Ives. Another uphill battle in the hexagonal ensues.

  62. AC says:

    I know it’s not as big as the Landon debate, as Landon would have added more offense and veteran presence. I wonder if Chris Pontius would have made this roster from the January camp if he hadn’t pulled out with an injury. He can provide width offensively. But I guess it’s another “what if” obviously. Hopefully some clearer answers to fixing any problems can come soon.

  63. Jacob says:

    2nd Honduras goal is just a complete disaster all around. Cameron somehow loses a 10 yard race with a 5 yard head start, Howard comes for the ball and doesn’t get there, and Gonzalez appears to assume he can casually jog over and clear the ball away in front of a gaping net, because of course there will be no Honduran player in the neighborhood. So bad.

  64. Tums says:

    Bradley the best player? I thought Bradley played one of if not his worst match as a member of the National Team.

    • adam tash says:

      exactly. these ratings and commentary are off. first of all questioning williams vs edu is ignoring the elephant in the room of 3 defensive minded mids. bradley had a terrible game though came on a little bit late. another thing, theres no way zusi should have a higher rating than eddie johnson. ej was one of the only us players i saw beating any one off the dribble. Zusi did NOTHING. contributed nothing. cameron sucked just as much as gonzalez did he shouldnt have a higher rating than gonzalelz. both sucked. every defender sucked, but cameron wasnt a full point better than gonzo, sorry. also altidore didnt do anything but considering how reliant his performance is on the rest of the team, he shouldnt get a lower rating than the midfiled who gave him nothing to work with. lastly, tim howrd messed up on the last goal he shouldnt be so much higher than everyone else.

  65. SD says:

    Maybe Klinsmann is spending too much time on fitness so the team is exhausted by the time the game starts….the guys have been looking flat and exhausted since last year…..maybe this is what lahm meant….

  66. White Kix says:

    “TIMMY CHANDLER- (3.5). His cap-tying experience will be one to forget as he, much like Johnson, looked a step slow and out of his element. Beaten repeatedly and offered nothing getting forward.”
    He was as bad as a player could possibly be. Used over and over again (Even before the meg). 3.5 is too high. 2 would be generous.

    “DANNY WILLIAMS- (3). Worst player on the field. Had very little impact on the game, and was flat out overrun by Honduran midfielders. He made everybody’s job harder and it is extremely difficult to see him starting games come March.”
    It was hard to see him starting games after that Russia debacle, yet there he was, starting again even though he can’t play for his club team.

    “JURGEN KLINSMANN- (3). All of his important lineup decisions failed him. Gonzalez over Carlos Bocanegra was clearly a mistake, no matter the motives, and starting Williams over Edu was clearly a distaster. Aside from Edu for Williams, which was a correction of his own mistake, Klinsmann’s substitutions didn’t really turn the tide.”
    The US has been playing like this since he took over. The first game against Mexico was some of the worst soccer I have seen from us in the 20 years I have been following the team. His big results against Mexico and Italy were terrible games. We played awful, but they didn’t punish us for it. Then, there is the last round of qualifying, were we had troubles with Antigua. He has had more than enough time to create his team, and it is clear his team is no good, and probably will not qualify for the World Cup.

    link to facebook.com

    • Matt says:

      Ha ha ha! Oh wait, you’re serious? One bad game and now they’re not even going to qualify? My favorite thing about this loss is the all the “sky is falling” people coming out of the woodwork.
      These are the same people that’ll be predicting the US winning the World Cup if we play well against Costa Rica.
      Calm down people. The US is neither good enough to dominate all through qualification, nor bad enough to fail to qualify.

  67. Dinho says:

    Match fixing?

  68. tony says:

    I dont need to be in the locker room to see what’s going on, good or bad. What is very clear, this team nor the coach was prepared to handle this game, in the environment, tactics, flow of the game, and do what needed to be done.

    What the coach needs to realize, is that the experimentation process is over, this is about going to world cup. Does the Honduras coach know for sure that this is the team he wants? How about Jamaica, Mexico? Could be Yes or NO, You be the judge. Jurgen questionable lineup decisions and substitutions were simply guesses of what he thought would work, but wasn’t proven before in a real game together. In order to have find confidence, you must be competent in knowing what you’re doing, alot of the players had neither, weren’t ready. And they went back to their old habits. But the good thing, is that they got of their comfort zone and struggled, in order to succeed you must struggle.

  69. biff says:

    I personally don’t feel that Chandler earned the right to start against Costa Rica, and a case could be made that he does not even deserve to be called up. If Eric Lichaj would be called into camp and put in a horror performance like Chandler, you can sure Klinsmann would not be calling him up a second time. But Klinsmann loves Chandler and chances are he will be starting against Costa Rica. I just hope Chandler can get the lead out of butt and do a better job of defending and take some offensive initiative. But I am doubtful that he will.

    • Chocolate Cake says:

      I’ve seen better from Chandler, he might just be in a slump. Being in Germany, not as hot, might have detered his game yesterday.

  70. AC says:

    Well, this team is what it is. There isn’t a magic American Messi to select from with this group. Just qualify for the World Cup before thinking about doing great there…..

  71. bryan says:

    pretty fair ratings. i agree with everyone that edu should have started over williams. i like williams, but edu seemed like the obvious choice for this game. the gonzalez thing certainly came back to bite him in the ass, but if it had worked out, we’d all be saying, “told you not to start boca.” either way, i do agree that this was not the right game for him to start in. i would have like to seen boca start.

    at the end of the day, the US got lucky because both other games ended in ties. but it still means a must-win against CR at home.

  72. DREAM says:

    So over it. Time to start from scratch. Work-rate style.

    4-3-3 (Subs listed below)


    – Only 3 holdovers from Honduras (Bradley, Cameron, Howard)
    – Castillo gets a nod for his work and quickness
    – Zusi gets subbed after 60+ for Gatt.
    Shea comes on for Herculez in the 80th minute
    – Feilhaber is spelled by
    Agudelo and moved up front w/ Dempsey in stoppage time
    – Win.

    • ilikefreddyyesadu says:

      I think Fabian is the only German that should get another shot. Jones has been pretty good but I’m ready to move on. So long Williams and Chandler. Their hearts aren’t in it. My dream lineup by June qualifiers:

      • DCUnitedWillRiseAgain says:

        Dolo just got scoped. I doubt he will be back by June. Give Parkhurst another whirl. He did great in the UCL for Nordjasleelelldllaldldkannd

  73. spartansoccer says:

    I really wish Wondo would have made this roster and goten a chance to play consistently with Davis. Both really want to help the US win and have the right attitudes and work rate to set positive examples for the younger guys.
    These are two guys are off-season buddies who were among the fittest in camp (Wondo was #1 in VO2 testing) and both are no stranger to heat and humidity (Wondo played with Davsi in SJ, then Houston, for 5 years)
    Oh well, they’ll both go back to their clubs and do what they do…the reigning MLS MVP (Wondo) will score goals and Davis will dish tons of assists…but both would give a major body part to help the USMNT qualify for World Cup :-)

  74. BUD says:

    I’m not super knowledgeable with formations, but is there a reason we always play the diamond midfield in the 4-4-2? Why not a more typical midfield and maybe go 4-4-1-1 with Deuce slotted behind the forward striker? Assuming we had some of these players back, I envision…

    • BUD says:

      This way Dempsey is in the middle and we could have speed on the outside. If Donovan isn’t around, then maybe Gatt plays there and Shea/Zusi on the left. If Holden can’t come back then either Jones or perhaps Mixx or Corona. Thoughts?

      • ilikefreddyyesadu says:

        Donovan will be around. I’m not sure the time is right for Mixx or Corona. It would be nice to get them into a couple late qualifiers if we somehow have a spot clinched by then. They’ll have some experience heading into 2014. Too bad we choked away a Confederation’s Cup opportunity, thank you Bornstein.

  75. Klinsmann is a bum says:

    Klinnsman is a bum!!!! Bring back Bradley. This man Klinnsman is trying to play a style not suited for US. With Bradley, USA was a lock to qualify and with Klinnsman, you never know what the result may be even if they played USL Pro teams!

  76. DCUnitedWillRiseAgain says:

    The solution to all these problems should be patently obvious:

    Pontius, Chris

    He can play wide and/or tuck in centrally. A good ball winner with a wicked shot. He needs a little more consistency, but compared to what we fielded yesterday….

    Also, I think we should give Biesler, Brooks, and Whitbread a look. Consider using Cameron at FB for away matches. It’s where he plays for Stoke.

    Parkhurst Besler Whitbread Johnson
    Mix Edu Bradley Pontius
    Altidore Dempsey

    Cameron Besler Whitbread Johnson
    Klejstan/Zusi Edu Bradley Jones
    Altidore Dempsey

  77. MikeG says:

    I like the idea of a midfield change: a box midfield with Jones and Bradley as Defensive Midfielders staying in touch with the two Center Backs and creating a box that will make it hard for anyone to get in front of goal. Jones and Bradley will have to play both ways and they do this already at Roma and Schalke. The other two midfield spots should be a play maker type like Torres for example paired with Sasha. These two will have to play both ways as well, but they have more offensive upside. The other option would be a 5 man midfield with Jones and Bradley as defensive midfielders with 3 offensive minded midfielders. Jones and Bradley are two of our best midfielders and SHOULD be on the field at the same time and also in a way that balances the attack and defense better.

    • MikeG says:

      Hmm, Bradley/Jones and Corona/Torres making up a box midfield…It’s a start

      • MikeG says:

        These four players can also use the width in order to get into space as they see fit…I mean it’s not a good idea to play as robots in the midfield and final third…talent should be aloud to be used.

    • MikeG says:

      We would see shorter passing and more 1-2 touch passing through the middle allowing us to have better possession.

    • MikeG says:

      Also a box midfield should create two lanes of opportunity for the fullbacks to get forward and overlap opportunities. This will also help in possession.

    • AMPhibian says:

      the 4-2-2-2 has worked for us in the past and can work again, nice thought.

  78. Math nerd says:

    Okay, I am exhausted, looking over the stats for 2011 and 2012. The verdict:

    When Cherundolo, Cameron, Donovan, Torres, Jones, and Bradley are on the field together, the number of goals allowed drops from 1.0 to 0.5 goals/game. Spain currently allows 0.33 goals/game. Those 6 players seem to possess the ball as a group more so than any other group of players on the US roster in the back four and midfield. I believe possession leads to fewer goals allowed by the opponent. The remaining spots are open to discussion, although very little data for new, young players.

    Regarding strikers, Deuce and Gomez easily win hands down, averaging 1 goal per game between the two of them. Not bad considering, Spain averages 1 goal per game between Torres and Villa.

    • MikeG says:

      Thanks for your work and pointing out the information. Cameron really needs to play as a Back and move Fabian into midfield. Just Do It (Klinnsman). :-)

    • Raymon says:

      Nice “Moneyball” and “Freakanomics” work! Thankful for nerds that can crunch the numbers and provide objective proof of their statements.
      Now finish that game of D&D. Tell the DM you earned it.

    • Pirithous says:

      I’m a little confused at your calculations. Cherundolo, Cameron, Donovan, Torres, Jones and Bradley have only ever been on the field together for a total of 68 minutes — the game against the hungover Scots. While they were together they yielded a single goal (an own goal credited to Cameron). So, I’m pretty sure I would not want to base any conclusions on a mere 68 minutes of soccer in the last two years, let alone on minutes from a friendly against Scotland. And besides, 1 goal in 68 minutes = 1.32 goals per 90 minute game.

      Did you misstate something? Or did I miss a game somewhere? Torres was playing a lot before Cameron started playing a lot, and so getting all six of your players on the field at the same time is rare. Too rare in fact to draw any conclusions from.

      • Mathnerd says:

        When 4 of the 6 play together, minus the negative influence of Onyewu and Bornstein. Statistically, Onyewu has very negative impact on the defense.

  79. MikeG says:

    I put the USMNT to the standard of second round World Cup. We have the players to meet that standard. Nike. Just do it.

  80. MA1 Rodriguez says:

    Cameron deserves a “4”, his big mistake, worn down in the end, and he on sucks attacking headers.

  81. Johan Peeters says:

    “The Americans”? The Hondurans are (at least) as American as the US team.