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 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 et.al, 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.