BRIAN SCIARETTA - Saturday, June 9, 2012
The United States earned three points in their opening World Cup qualifier with a 3-1 win over Antigua and Barbuda but the team struggled in many areas of the game.

The US got on the board quickly in the 9th minute when forward Herculez Gomez flicked on a corner. Antigua keeper Molvin James tried to collect the ball but it fell to US captain Carlos Bocanegra who buried the shot.

The US team dominated possession but it wasn't until the 44th minute when they would extend their lead. On the play Landon Donovan was brought down in the box and was awarded a penalty. On the ensuing kick, Clint Dempsey stepped up and converted with a hard shot down the middle.

In the 64th minute Antigua and Barbuda cut the deficit to 2-1 when Peter Byers took advantage of poor defending from Oguchi Onyewu by dribbling around the Sporting Lisbon defender and firing a shot past Tim Howard from 10 yards.

In the 71st minute the US would move up 3-1 when Herculez Gomez pounced on a scramble in front of the net and shot past an out of position James from close range.

The US team failed to impress against a team widely viewed to be the poorest in the semifinal round of CONCACAF. The US outshot Antigua 17-5 but were unable to break through the Antiguan defense frequently despite their advantage in talent.

Most notably the US was unable to control the wide play and stretch the defense. Antigua defended the middle well and the US insisted on attacking crowded middle nearly every time.

The US will now have to regroup for an important game on Tuesday away at Guatemala. Playing on the road in CONCACAF has always been a difficult task for the American team and Tuesday will be a test.

The US will likely be without left backs Fabian Johnson, Edgar Castillo, and Jose Torres who played left back against Antigua but who left the game injured.

The US is attempting to qualify for its seventh straight FIFA World Cup in Brazil 2014.
Tuesday June 12, 2012 2:55 pm
@casey cmon man what?! At least the Gold Cup performance is one more awesome game than Torres or Shea or other players, that have gotten far more time with the A team than Freddy. If you have a player on our team that can thread passes on a dime, run at defenses and collect fouls in the final third, as well as being a true scoring threat just give me a NAME. We just don't have a true #10. It's that simply. You must have someone putting the ball on a tee and setting up goal scoring opps to acutually SCORE! Given the same amount of chances as Bradley, Donovan, Torres, Edu, Shea or scores of others....Freddy will bring results. He acutually had some great performances on the Turkish Club team as well as the Olympics, when he had Altidore along side him to set up a real striker!! I do think J. Jones can also be a great assist man, but even he isnt a true #10. Also Bradley has gotten better with his passing game. LIGHTLY WEIGHTED PASSES is what we gotta have!
Christian Gallus
Tuesday June 12, 2012 11:08 am
Hugh I totally agree, we need foreign born strikers (with dual citizenship). I recommend Dani Brkovic (eligible to play fot 3 countries )(natural striker with the speed of Davies) born in Croatia played HS in the US. Invited to play for Bosnia on the u-21 team( who it seems will qualify for the Euro U-21 Championship to be held in Israel next June ), Klinsman should take a look at him , I don't think he has. What happened to Jonathan Spector, how come he is not considered for a fullback position?? Christian
Tuesday June 12, 2012 6:56 am
@ Alex, 3-5-2 is a great idea, play to our strengths (mid field) and cover up our weakness (defense).

@ muchadu, come on man, Freddy adu is not the answer to the usmnt woes. He failed to do anything in Europe and he really hadn't shown me anything at his time in philly... Don't even bring up the gold cup final last summer, yeah he played well but that was one game in at least the last three years where he played like the player we all want him to be...
Monday June 11, 2012 12:24 pm
It is a bit sad to see so many US Nat fans in complete denial.

@ Paul so where are the probling passes? First you need players who can make these type of passes. See recent Euro game Spain vs. Italy.

@ Jeff while I do think Herc is decent, he is definitely not McBride or Wynalda.
Good super sub but not someone who will help us in the WC as a starter.

@Eurofan Yes Fabian, Lichaq and Llegett are all great choices, but on defense. Offensively your talking about a natural number 10. Its not Torres. Its Adu.

@Alex Yes Spain vs. Italy was a very well played match. Get our US Nats in to watch game film of this game and attempt to play just half that good to obtain wonderous results!!

Lastly, we obviously all get bent when a Rossi, Subotic or a Chandler don't choose to play for us. How about Freddy who could have easily played for Ghana, but instead chose the USA. He badly needs a chance with the other starters and you would start seeing great passes to set up scores. Don't like his defense? Sub him out after you get a lead........problem solved.
Mark WNY
Monday June 11, 2012 9:34 am
For Guatemala, my starting XI:


Dolo Goodson Boca Fabian

Edu MB


Donovan Demps

Monday June 11, 2012 1:16 am
After the past few games, I don't know how anyone but Herculez can be starting up front. Some people see his as a super-sub, but I mean... He's been relentless, excellent, and is our only forward who can score until Jozy shows up.

For the first time since McBride so I feel like we have a reliable center-forward.
Monday June 11, 2012 12:56 am
Gooch is a situational player that should see time only against big European strikers and technical games where his size and physicality are assets. Put him up against players half his size and twice his speed and he’ll get skinned. Doesn’t mean he shouldn’t have a role.

This was a quirky game. We lost our last remaining LB the day before (don’t forget Klinsmann has lost his first three choices in less than a month). We start Torres at LB. So we both remove an effective part of our midfield distribution (yes, Torres has been effective) and disrupt the already shaky backline in the same stroke. And we wonder why the rhythm was off? Castillo went down on Thursday so no time to adjust and field conditions were so poor that there was no pre-game practice either. Now add rain and a team that plays together as a club. The talent might not be there but you can’t deny their cohesion limited the defensive mistakes you’d normally see with a tiny Caribbean team that doesn’t train together much. Those are the teams you score 8 goals against (on a dry pitch with a healthy team).

I just don’t think too much can be read into this. LB was a vulnerable position even when we were trying to work Chandler into it. Now we’re on #2 and #3 choices and we allow them to get hurt in practice. Freak accidents? Maybe. But Klinsmann has a rep for hard “fitness” workouts. Maybe we should be a touch more precious going forward. Tough to loose guys to friendly fire and we can’t afford additional backline issues. I hear Johnson looks good for Guatemala? Watch this be a totally different team.
Sunday June 10, 2012 9:56 pm
I watched this game last night after reading all of the negative comments. I have to say that I don't really think they are deserved.

The speed of the game was painfully slow. When I play in a slow game, I use the opportunity to focus on playing with speed and urgency even though I don't have to. I'm not saying that I always succeed at this, but these guys are professionals and I am not. Laziness leads to mental torpor and physical mistakes -- which is what happened with Edu on a couple of occasions.

The score line should have been much different.

Gooch took a bad line and underestimated the speed of Byers. If he were truly as bad as many here seem to suggest, he would not play for the club he starts for. Having said that, he has always seemed a bit slow footed -- this is not a new injury specific attribute.
Sunday June 10, 2012 7:09 pm
Just got done watching Italy-Spain and Italy had a pretty good go with a 3-5-2. Why can't we do that? Granted the US is not Italy but no one else in CONCACAF is Spain either. We simply need to get our best 11 on the field formation be damned.
Saturday June 9, 2012 6:40 pm
I impressive performance by the US! Was listening to the game on the radio, and nothing but negative comments by the announcers! From the sound of it the US held all the possession but no scoring chances... Just making centers in the 18 yard box! Can we please put a creative midfielder into the game?! Is that too much to ask for?! I mean come one what do we expect when we have three holding midfielders on the field?

Donovan, and Torres are not wingers! They both don't like to dribble (one v one) nor does Donovan like to make darting runs into the middle or make successful passes. Torres is a player who likes to hold the ball and maintain that possession, he also makes distributing passes to the players from the back...NOT wingers! Brek Shea sucks, he is just tall and cannot dribble pass anyone of real quality ( Italy, France) only against concacaf teams lol we should use Johnson in that position he likes to cut in!

Jurgen needs to bring in a true left back besides Castillo, he's alright but needs to learn not to dribble when your by your own 18 yard box..we should play Eric Lichaj! And for central defense, just anyone who can defend against European, and any South American player lol except Ream! Can't made plenty mistakes for Bolton!

Just bring any creative midfielder! A.S.A.P because with this team we are solely going to be fault of our own cause.
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