BRENT LATHAM - Friday, June 19, 2009
As poorly as the US played on Thursday, the skill gap between the American players and their Brazilian counterparts seems to be as wide as ever. That can be said about most teams in the world, but it was disappointing to see the US fumble around like star-struck kids for 20 minutes before turning back into professionals.

The team

The two Americans that stood out for me were Landon Donovan and Jonathan Spector. Yes, Spector got beaten badly on the first goal, but he and Donovan were the only two Americans that looked like they had the skill to be on the field with the Brazilians at any point yesterday.

Without beating Bob Bradley's tactical and lineup choices to death, I will say that he is predictable. Bradley is still conservative, and just as I said last summer, that conservatism won't work against the world's best teams. We don't know that the other options - i.e. Torres, Adu, Davies, will work, but we do know that DMB and Kljestan don't seem to be the answers either.

US Still Has a Chance

The US awoke Friday with the slimmest mathematical possibility of advancing, after Egypt's surprise victory over Italy, and it will be interesting to see who Bradley chooses for his starting 11. Certain players have looked flat, and perhaps, even though the US still has the slightest possibility of advancing, it would be good to give some new players a chance anyway. I'll check in with my thoughts before game time.
Sunday June 21, 2009 1:50 pm
I don't think Michael Bradley's play can be criticized. It's not his fault that he is his fumbling father's son. Michael Bradley is one of the most tenacious players on the field and one of the few US players that makes a legitimate threat on goal in almost every game he plays. He knows how to move without the ball which almost no other US players do.

Dempsy showed playground skills on the field. You can tell that he was playing with a chip on his shoulder and was tired of not being taken seriously by the Brazilians. Unfortunately, he often took one to many touches after 1 or 2 skillful and clean touches just to make his point.

Donovan and Spector were strong and fearless. Demerit acquited himself well. Feilhaber had some nice touches. His give away against Italy was attributable to fatigue. Conor Casey is a big target striker with no foot skills. That works fine in the MLS, but is useless against quality competition.
Saturday June 20, 2009 9:24 am
I'm sorry but we should be beating Bradley's choices to death. He is threatening to drag US Soccer back into mediocrity. The team has been ill prepared in the last four matches. But he's not alone to blame. There's also the cowards at US Soccer, who don't seem to want to hire a quality coach.

Against Egypt, we need to see Boca at left back and Torres and Adu in the midfield. No Beas. No Kljestan.
David R.
Saturday June 20, 2009 12:02 am
We need a coach that does not have as his first priority the selection of a team that will showcase his son and take the blame for his son's bad play.
Friday June 19, 2009 6:45 pm
1 in a million? So you're saying there's a chance!

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