USA vs. Nigeria: SBI Live Match Commentary



The U.S. Men’s National Team takes on Nigeria (6pm, ESPN/Univision) today in the final match of their World Cup send-off series, and the toughest test the Americans will have faced before making the trip to Brazil.

The U.S. is coming off consecutive wins against Azerbaijan and Turkey, but Nigeria will offer a significantly tougher challenge as the African champions look to make their own final preparations for the World Cup.

Jurgen Klinsmann said he would use today’s match as a final look at some positional battles, and not necessarily a match where he will deploy his first-choice starting lineup for the World Cup. In Nigeria, the Americans face a team that should offer a strong challenge to the very areas in the U.S. lineup that are still up for grabs, like central defense, left back and central midfielder.

SBI will be providing live commentary on today’s match so please feel free to follow the action here. As always, you are welcome to share your own thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (Today’s commentary is after the jump):

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186 Responses to USA vs. Nigeria: SBI Live Match Commentary

  1. twewlife says:

    predictions about the result?

  2. Byrdman says:

    3-1 US. We get to see if Beckerman can play against world Cup level athletes.

  3. kctc says:

    3-1 US. Jozy with a breakout brace

  4. Vic says:

    Wouldnt mind seeing Chandler in midfield.

  5. mike says:

    becks brads and jones together? love it!

  6. Snack Time says:

    Very interesting midfield selection. I’m looking forward to seeing how this plays out.

  7. Dan says:

    I’m so confused….what formation do you run with a midfield of Bedoya, Bradley, Jones and Beckerman? Who’s playing on the wing? Is this going to be a 3-5-2 with Bedoya and Johnson playing as wing-backs and Bradley Jones and Beckerman all as DMs? Someone make sense of this for me ::head explodes::

    • Lazlo Hollyfeld says:

      It’s a 4-2-3-1

      • Dan says:

        So is Dempsey playing on the wing then? Can’t say I’m a fan of that though he’s done it in the past.

        • Lazlo Hollyfeld says:


    • tom says:

      This is basically the the line-up I wanted to see. My hope is that Beckerman sits in front of the back 4, Jones goes box to box, and Bradley stays high to forecheck and create.
      I do have to say that I think Donovan would perform better in this formation than any other. It’ll be bittersweet if they end up playing something similar to this.

      • tom says:

        Hopefully Altidore isn’t left alone too much. I see Fabian Johnson getting forward a ton so that Dempsey really pinches in, then leave Beasley back more often with Bedoya/Zusi operating in more space.
        Excited to see this formation.

  8. Lazlo Hollyfeld says:

    Beasley? Please, no!

  9. Thom says:

    Thrilled to see dempsey bedoya and bradley together in the midfield could be very succesful

  10. Chris says:

    Donovan for Davis, get ready.

    Also, this lineup seems lacking on the wings.

    • JayAre says:

      It looks a little bit like the type of 4-3-3 Spain started with today.

      • Chris says:

        Eh yeah but perhaps not a very dynamic 4-3-3

        • tom says:

          Yeah, this is the formation that Donovan would have thrived in more than any other. Obviously looking at his goals/assists records for the US he is someone who can operate in space and both finish and create. Which is what you need in forward wings of a 4-3-3…his weakness is playing as either a pure forward or a pure wide winger.

  11. Grande Bueno says:

    stream? other than 1st row which has been overtaken by ads.

    • Billy says:

      adblocker is a life saver.

    • tom says:

      ESPN online if you have a friend who subscribes to cable that will share their password with you.

    • bryan says:


      • Zack says:

        bryan, bryan, wiziwig has never been a word. If you wanted to mean right, exactly you would say ‘genau’, if you meant it was impotent you would say ‘Wichtigt!’

        Please tell me bryan, in english, what is it that you want to say, I will translate it into German for you.

      • Grande Bueno says:

        worked like a charm. thanks for that.

  12. Bradley's Missing Mop says:

    I wasn’t sure if Klinsi was willing to move Demps out to the wing. Love having Bradley, supported by Jones and Beckerman. And I ‘m glad Bedoya got the nod as well.

  13. Twosevenstreet says:

    This has the potential to be our best lineup for the world cup.

    Only thing I would do different is put FabJo on the left and Chandler at rb

    Jones and Kyle can go back and defend while the outside backs push forward…..

    But the way it is is cool also.

    • atleticodemadridfan says:

      Hispanic commentators on Univision saying that this is the most balanced lineup that Klinsman has ever trotted out. High praises for JJones in the first half. And appreciative of the US attack when they flowed through the midfield and started stringing precise pases together. They also stated that they saw the US deservedly go up 1-0 while dominating the run of play and defending very solidly.

      I like it! Much better.

  14. Chris says:

    Jesus all ESPN has talked about is the German players. We get it. stfu!

  15. shawn says:

    Altidore hand over heart!!!!!!!!

    • Good Jeremy says:

      Grrr. I’m sure he has his reasons but it still bothers me.

      • Fair Observer says:

        both of his parents are from haiti. He was born in the US, though. He has publicly said that he won’t put his hand over his heart during the Anthem because his heart lies in haiti where his family is from. He does sing along sometimes, just never hand over heart.

        • Increase says:

          I dont like doing it. But im a texan. Yall how it is.

        • Anthony says:

          I have NEVER heard him say this! Please provide a citation or I will hold it as false. He was not he only without the hand over heart.

      • MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

        Y does it bother u?.. .. lighten up man. Hes not a terrorist

    • Leo says:

      Who cares? It’s a free country and he’s not in the military. I don’t do any of that fake patriot crap either.

  16. Citronomics says:

    Props 2 the Corner Tavern in BackBay for having the game on! Deuce with a brace and 2-2 result…

  17. shawn says:

    Holy crap Tim isn’t white

  18. deepvalue says:

    Mix did not have shin guards on. Not playing today? Everyone else had them.

  19. bryan says:

    Def looks like a 4-3-1-2 defensively

  20. Hey gang,
    Trying to get this song to the boys headed to Brazil. Any ideas how to make that happen! Go USA!!!!!

    link to

  21. Byrdman says:

    Jozy moving well off the ball

  22. MikeG says:

    Why is Twellman talking about Bradley taking a risk going forward with the ball? It should be a primary objective.

  23. bryan says:

    With Zusi on the right wing and Dempsey up top in place of Altidore, this lineup would be sooo much better. Zero service from the wings with this group

  24. MikeG says:

    Chandler can hold down RB. Put Fabian at LW or RW. Fabian gets assists when playing MF.

  25. JayAre says:

    I hope we can stop hearing the bench Jozy cries now.

  26. MikeG says:

    Assist to Fabian Johnson…Why limit his ability to get assists or goals at RB? Could we use more?

    • Chris says:

      Because hes our best outside back

    • JayAre says:

      Just because he’s good attacking out of the back doesn’t mean he’s good at playing in mid. He’s played there before in the past and wasn’t so good

  27. Chris says:

    Jermaine jones always going down

  28. Cal says:

    Jozy looking like the new Wondo.

  29. Gabe says:

    Fabian Johnson is a PLAYER. Great pace, great timing of his runs, good defender, and a real menace to deal with.

  30. caleb AHIZE says:

    super eagles shud at least win dis match to prove to nigerias dat our coach cn win in africa ad also at america, kechi shud nt start dis game wit osaze,i prefe emenike, moses dan hm i hate hs stly of play,ad mikel shud at least show us wot he hav 4 us at brazil to nite,we dnt nid draw we nid win to night

  31. KJ says:

    These home uniforms are awful. So awful.

    • deepvalue says:

      Agree, hate to see players constantly fussing with their collars. Not a good design and not that attractive.

  32. argh says:

    I love you JOZY

    6th highest goal scoring American.

    someday he will be the 3rd highest scorer in NT history and highest goal scoring Yank in Europe

  33. caleb AHIZE says:

    tdays match result i predict ,Nigeria 2 USA 0

  34. Zack says:

    I have watched a lot of soccer, this is the worst I have ever seen the U.S. team play. Thankfully we got a goal.

  35. Lazlo Hollyfeld says:

    ah yes, halftime lined up perfectly with the start of the Belmont Stakes!

  36. deepvalue says:

    The formation is better but there is a lack of understanding between players. Most passes are just a little off.

  37. Fredo says:

    Happy with clean sheet so far given defensive formation. Jones is doing well shielding DMB. Nigeria finally started playing at around 40th. USA!

  38. Chris says:

    Donovan would have been perfect in this lineup. Still think were going to miss Mo Edu

    • Baptista says:

      I think in the WC is gonna come down to the difference between having him (Landon) or not having him. Like four years ago.

      • MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

        Nope. Your just an LD fanboy. No matter if we advance, go 0-3, lose in the WC final.. you will say ” This is why having LD _________ Yada Yada Yada..”

      • MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

        The Difference will be in our back line. We’ll be okay w/o LD he’s been in and out of the Squad for 2 yrs. Not a real factor for 90 min. Back line is.

  39. MikeG says:

    I like seeing the more ‘compact’ play. Seems like when the team shifts right the left side of the team stops at half way point of the field and vice versa. We seem to be covering 2-3 of the field at anytime (or most of the time). Review the goal and you will see lots of compact play on the right side. Notice how many short one and two touch passes were made. That is a benefit of playing develop many 2 on 1 and 3 on 2 passing situations, but it requires players running off the ball into open space and getting on the ‘inside’ of the defender. I hope we can see more.

  40. Other Jim says:

    Here in Costa Rica, our ESPN is programmed from Mexico, so on ESPN I’m just seeing the Belmont Stakes. Oh well…

  41. Baptista says:

    I like Beckerman, but those dreads are just too heavy for him or something. It seems at times they pull him back.

  42. atleticodemadridfan says:

    Hispanic commentators on Univision saying that this is the most balanced lineup that Klinsman has ever trotted out. High praises for JJones in the first half. And appreciative of the US attack when they flowed through the midfield and started stringing precise pases together. They also stated that they saw the US deservedly go up 1-0 while dominating the run of play and defending very solidly.

    I like it! Much better.

  43. matt says:

    Not seeing much out of bedoya. That being said im glad he’s starting over green.

  44. Zack says:

    As far as I can determine, so far, is that the only man on the field, players or coaches, that has a clue is Tim Howard.

  45. BB4 says:

    Jozy’s doing work today defensively.

  46. JayAre says:

    Gooooaaalllllllll!!!!! The return of Jozy

  47. Zack says:

    Take that Sunderland!

  48. Timberquake says:

    YEAH JOZY! Now that’s a right proper goal, showing off his strength and composure there. Any further questions about who should be our starting striker?

  49. Chris says:

    Altidore has the confidence back.

    Don’t even care about anything else in this game…this is HUGE.

  50. Fair Observer says:

    the hat trick cometh…

  51. Fredo says:

    Now that was a nice goal by Jozy. USA!

  52. KingGoogleyEye says:

    Now that’s a difference in hairdos.

  53. atleticodemadridfan says:

    Jozy, Jozy, Jozy, Jozy!!!!!
    The flood-gates have opened!

  54. atleticodemadridfan says:

    I feel just a tiny bit sorry for Nigeria. As far as the refereeing goes, they are getting CONCACAFed.
    Not too

  55. Zack says:

    Zusi made a bad play, how in the world could a decent soccer player over shoot the middle.

  56. atleticodemadridfan says:

    too, badly, but still a little bit of home cooking from the officials.

    Jozy going off to a standing ovation.

  57. Nate says:

    Jozy set both Mix and Dempsey up on a platter…Dont know why Dempsey gave up on that ball…

  58. Nate says:

    Jermaine Jones has been a boss today…

    • Paul6 says:

      He’s been a boss all three games. This is the JJ we’ve been waiting for for so long. Let’s hope it continues.

  59. Slowreno says:

    all the Bench Jozy Haters can finally shut it!!

  60. atleticodemadridfan says:

    This style of playing it loosey goosey at the end of the game, not closing out the game, missing knockout punch goal opportunities and giving up a penalty late is becoming a disturbing habit.
    Hope it ends here.

    • Yusef says:

      All of those subs reduce cohesion. They will keep it tight and bring in guys to shut down the games in Brazil. Best to do that with veterans off the bench like Cobi Jones shutting down Portugal and Mexico matches back in ’02.

  61. Leo says:

    Well, guess Gonzalez is starting this World Cup on the bench.

  62. Dawsaw says:

    Lost in the shuffle of Jozy’s goals is that Omar looked really bad in his 10 minutes regardless of what happens in the last 3.

  63. Zack says:

    Besler took the man down, if he wouldn’t have Howard diffidently had the save. Bad, very bad, move by Besler.

  64. Nate says:

    Hate to say it…but I would much rather have Donovan in the Zusi/Bedoya role….they are simply not on his level when it comes to the final pass…

    • Paul6 says:

      I like bedoya. But yeah, that right side has looked dangerous up until the final pass is needed.

    • BookNerd says:

      And he is not on their level of fitness. Especially, in the heat of Brazil. Donovan is not there. Its time to move on. Focus on this team.

      • Paul6 says:

        I heard he was top 3 in the beep test. LD’s fitness shouldn’t ever be questioned.

      • Chris says:

        Donovan’s fitness is always good. You have no idea what you’re talking about

      • hahabooknerd says:

        Klinsmann made it personal. Don’t spin some silly fitness jive. Can you really say you would rather have Wondo running around aimlessly or donovan coming in at the end of a game?

        • Benny says:

          Donovan with his pinpoint precise passing in the box.

          • Zack says:

            It is fact time. Landon Donovan is, today, the best soccer player in the world! And everyone knows that, Messi, Ronaldo, Ribbery, they all know it.

            Everyone knows that, and yet Klinsi dropped him.

    • Benny says:

      You are correct. With Donovan’s Passing in the box, the U.S. could have had 4 goals total.

    • Yusef says:

      +1. As much as I like Bedoya, seeing this system seems to create a perfect place for Donovan to slide in. Assuming Donovan could get in the same space as Bedoya, team would’ve been better in final third. Bedoya was strong getting back though.

  65. Zack says:

    Green proved today that he should not have even made the 30, much less the 23.

    Don’t you agree slowleft?

    • Paul6 says:

      Uhhhh… He didn’t play, so, how did he prove that? Serious question.

      • Zack says:

        Don’t you see Paul, he didn’t play today. So, Green proved today that he has given no reason for us to believe he should be going to Brail.

        He has shown us nothing, he has never played 10 minutes for any professional league team, Can’t we all decide that our host and most of the commenters here know, Julian will sit the bench.

        Also, consider satire, irony, and other things of that sort. You know, like maybe saying one thing, while meaning another and having everyone listing knowing that is what you are doing.

    • Jack says:

      I don’t think he’ll see the field in Brazil. Even more so if we play this formation with 3 center mids.

    • slowleftarm says:

      I agree. He is awful and a fake American. Makes me sick to my stomach.

      • Zack says:


      • MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

        Haha okay George Washington.

      • Cristiano Donovan says:

        I hate those fake Americans. Always taking our fake jobs.

      • sean357 says:

        Want to punch you in the face. There is no such thing as a “fake” American. It is a 1,0 thing you are or you aren’t American. And he is American. You can not argue with someone being American, they are or they aren’t.

      • Anthony says:

        This is not slow. It is a new troll that has been on the boards for the last week or two. He posts outrageous comments under other people’s names. He is probably some 15yr old that gets off being a keyboard bully/troll.

  66. MikeG says:

    Zuzi looks better as a ‘playmaker’ in the middle. Anyway, stay compact on both sides of the field and we should be competitive in Brazil.

  67. Paul6 says:

    Uhhhh… He didn’t play, so, how did he prove that? Serious question.

  68. Abe says:

    How about Jeremy shad trying to tell Jozy all about his drought and him not making shots. Not bout him making them.

    Don’t like his reporting

  69. Shimmzy says:

    I’m glad Donovan isn’t on the line up. He’s trash.

  70. deepvalue says:

    Heck of a game by Jermaine Jones. Probably best I’ve ever seen him play.

  71. Leo says:

    Takeaways from this matchup:

    1) We have the ability to take on, and match, quality sides. Yeah, Nigeria played on US soil, the refs weren’t great; however, with players like Moses, Ameobi and Mikel, we defeated a really good team.

    2) Jozy’s back. Haters, out the door.

    3) We have a bunch of bosses in the midfield. Not only did they track back to help out the defense time and time again, they really appeared unfazed by Nigeria, held possession well (after that slightly nervy beginning), strung passes together well, and played well together in tight spaces. They probably did everything Klinsmann asked of them. Now for them to replicate this in Brazil.

    4) Gonzalez. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. I was really rooting for him to make something of his USMNT opportunity, but I really haven’t been impressed with anything he’s done over the past six months. I’m really disappointed in his performances lately.

    5) I was initially really disappointed in Donovan’s exclusion. I think he’s a special player, and he’s always had the ability of (and I think he’s still capable of) providing a spark when the chips are down. All that being said, I think his Road to the World Cup interview spelled out everything we need to know about why he was excluded by Klinsmann. Seeing this team today, win or lose at the World Cup, I think we’ll be okay without him.

  72. JC says:

    Good game. We really have Zero EV from the LM position. Bedoya, meh. Zusi, meh…I guess if I had to pick one to start, I would go with Zusi since I think he is the better passer.

    Brooks needs to be second in the depth chart over Gonzalez (assuming besler is starting).

  73. hudson says:

    Seeing this game makes it even more puzzling why Donovan was cut from the team. He would have flourished in a counterattacking game like this with plenty of space to operate in at pace. And when Bedoya blew those two chances in the box with errant cutback passes it’s hard not to think of Donovan doing in better in the same position. Bedoya will likely provide more on the defensive end but he’s got to be more consistent with that final ball on the attacking side.

    • JC says:

      With 4-2-3-1 I would not really care too much for defense from my mfs, as you pretty much have 6 in the back. Agree with the rest of the post.

    • JC says:

      Donovan at lm or rm would have worked wonders, so it must have been conditioning that Klinsmann did not like. Donovan already said that he gets tired after practicing too much, so that is the only answer I can point to.

    • Fredo says:

      Agree. LD’s vision & passing would have been a nice option to have on the bench.

  74. Fredo says:

    Odd choice for Klinsmann to go 3 in the back to kill the game. Otherwise, decent performance with a defensive setup to start. I’m happy for Jozy. His second goal was sweet. Still think Chandler is undisciplined. USA!

  75. JC says:

    Only question I have is that Dempsey is not really playing as a forward if we use 4-2-3-1, so Klinsmann comment of “Donovan is a forward” does not hold much water. Things that make you go “hmmmmm.”

    • MikeG says:

      Many other double talk examples of Klinnsman, but we would need a new thread to make room for the long list and comments.

  76. MikeG says:

    I think the dual DM and back four is what we will start against Ghana. We have seen Dempsey as a withdrawn forward and now kinda on the RW (at least formation wise). We clearly saw more compact play and a counter attack. Interesting. When we have possession it’s best we stay compact and move well off the ball to support, but when we see the opportunity to counter attack we do..I will gladly accept those tactics.

  77. Zack says:

    What will we do now? They are going to Brazil and will have another friendly, with Belgium, a really good team. But it is closed to us, it is to be a secret. Then we, the USMNT plays Ghana, That is all we know between this moment and the kick-off of the Ghana world cup match.

    Be prepared for surprises.

  78. QuakerOtis says:

    Anyone mentioning the one who needs not mention. Is. A. F*cking. Tool. Move. The. F*ck on. My two points of consolation:

    1. Jozy is back.

    2. The tools will go back in the shed after 7/12/14…

  79. jigones says:

    Great win. Team looked good and Beasly handled his business.