Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Keys: Gold Cup semifinal foe Jamaica

I deiced to wait to see the line-up for this one. And though I might rather see Gonzo in there with Brooks, Greg is a rather happy boy tonight. Here 'tis:




So, my bullet points on either side of the ball...

  • It just became quite simple on offense. If the US wins central park, we will get chances and Six Degrees of AJ will not be lonely up top. Frankly, I think Klinsi already has won this game by two goals just with the formation switch.
  • Set. Piece. Defending. Y'all. And I never say "y'all" so you know this is serious. And this game facet includes, ya know, not giving up a bunch of corners and danger free kicks. That is included in the trick.

Meanwhile, it is one of those nights when Ziggy Marley roots against us.







- Greg Seltzer

26 comments:

reanalyst said...

I like the formation. Does his exclusion mean Beasley is still not right?

dikranovich said...

it looks like coach klinsmann won the first battle by posturing a more defensive formation. someone must have gotten wind of jamaicas gameplan of trying to attack the USA early.

counter attack the counter attacker

patience and composure, that's what beats Jamaica tonight. and do it for the full 90.

dikranovich said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
dikranovich said...

That really was two of the more unlikely goals you will see

Gotta give some credit to the Jamaica goalkeeper. He plays in Pittsburgh, which was the city where Bob had his last concert. Jah was looking out in the first half, but the eagle still has 45 mins to swoop in for the win.

Joe Bailey said...

This is supposed to be the most important tournament to be played after the World Cup. Meanwhile Besler's home, Cameron's being rested and Gonzalez didn't start. We can come back but if we're knocked out. Klinsmann can only blame himself.

Then we need to talk to Bob Bradley.

dikranovich said...

There is always the two game playoff. We have that in our back pocket

Tom said...

It is a single game playoff, isn't it?

Greg Seltzer said...

It is a one-game playoff, if I am not mistaken.

I could have small quibbles with Klinsi, but frankly, for me this one is on the players.

Michael Carey said...

Vast majority lies with the players, for me. Klinsi more or less put them in position to succeed, I felt. Many, many, chances, and a lion's share of possession. He can't make the wall jump or make Brooks and Alvarado be anymore active on that long-throw. Sad showing by the players, and this was the game that showed Beckerman is too old now... Sad but he needs to hang it up for the US.

dikranovich said...

So it is a one game playoff. Time and place TBD. God a one game playoff between Mexico and USA in Kingston Jamaica. That would be epic.

I found nothing sad about the players performance tonight. Guzan made a couple mistakes, and sometimes results go the wrong way. USA fought to the end, and could have won.

This result puts a little pressure on coach klinsmann, now he must put it together for one game

Joe Bailey said...

Meanwhile Mexico scores and there's 10 minutes of injury time. Riiiight.

UnitedDemon said...

We need to figure out the backline.

Alvarado and Brooks are top notch when it comes to passing, but their overall defensive ability is suspect. We've got more consistent and talented CB's, they are called "Birnbaum" and "Hedges." Maybe it's time to call some MLS standouts in, just to win this playin game and wrack up the points.

The other issue is Beckerman. He should never play for us again. He's old, not mobile enough, and wasn't able to add anything to the attack when it counted.

Overall, we're OK, we just need to make smart adjustments. I think we're still the most talented and deep team in CONCACAF right now, but we also have to be the most effective. Jamaica had out number on that tonight.

P.s. I know an attacker whose name is Morris. And Bobby Wood. Ok, that's two.

justinwkoehn said...

I was at this disappointing game. I turned to my brother and said "I wouldn't be surprised if this was Beckerman's last game for the US." The only thing I'd put on Klinsmann is waiting so long for the subs.

justinwkoehn said...

It's time for everyone to admit that Timmy Chandler is the heart of the USMNT. Undefeated when on the field since April #TheChandlerEffect

Andy Palmer said...

So, DK. You had laughed at me before for saying how this was the best Jamaican team I'd seen and you said we'd easily score 3 goals...

Greg. I apply some blame to Klinsi on this one. He had two experienced central defenders on the bench in Gonzalez and Ream and instead started "the kids." That first goal would never have happened with Ream and Gonzo in there. I also felt his adjustments, via substitution, were weak and ineffective.

Ufficio said...

I think in general Klinsmann could've done a lot more to establish continuity and stability in the team, both in terms of lineups (thinking in particular about the back line) and tactics.

In this game, the switch to the "hoof it to Gordon" tactic was a miserable failure. We basically stopped generating chances at that point.

Freegle said...

Like you Greg, when I saw that starting line-up, I thought "Hey that's pretty good. Klinsmann got it right for once." But had he spent so much time getting it wrong that a good line-up didn't have any chemistry (especially in defense)? I have a long anti-klinsmann rant in my head but suffice it to say that all the JK lovers pointed to this tournament as the litmus test when we were struggling. I heard/read "Wait for the gold cup when the games matter" all the time. Well, it was a failure. I don't think he will be fired but we are paying him 4x as much for worse results. He was going to progress the program right? Where's the value?

I don't even care what Klinsamnn has to say anymore. Time to go higher. This was Sunil Gulati's biggest leadership decision. Where's the accountability at the highest levels of USSF?

Etymology said...

For me, this tournament turned my opinion finally and definitively against Bradley, and it comes down to this-- In competitive situations, Bradley is too slow in transition, turns the ball over too much, and is too easily dispossessed to be the person this team is built around. He plays great in friendlies but in the WC as here, he has been terrible at controlling and linking play through the center of the park. Of course he can at times play a sublime through ball, and he's always been good at running in late into the box to clean up loose balls and put them in the back of the net, and when we played up through the wings and he was less involved in the build up we did better, as this freed him up to make charges into the box. But as far as being the man in the center pulling the strings, I say he's a bust.

dikranovich said...

Andy, I'm still laughing at you. You picked Jamaica to be a tough opponent for the USA, a team that is coming off of three close losses in copa America. Jamaica and the USA have been playing close matches for the last 20 years. Forgive me for not seeing the light and wisdom of your comments.

Freegle, I think you know pretty full well that coach klinsmanns mandate is to qualify for confederations cup 2017. When it gets right down to it, USA was going to have to beat Mexico either this Sunday, or in three months time.

The truth is, another matchup with Jamaica in the one game playoff is probably most favorable

Freegle said...

I think you know entirely full well that Klinsmann's goal was to win the Gold Cup and he failed (and looked poor doing it). Everything else is just background noise and deflections.

dikranovich said...

freegle, you use to be all about having European credentials, as the be all end all. here is a coach with high European credentials, and you are attacking him like he is a total buffoon. I don't get it. whats your rationale?

its interesting that out of all the people that have commented about the failure of the USA last night, each has given a different reason for what went wrong. the multitude of lenses through which a game is viewed, it has to be greater in the United States, than in anywhere else in the world.

Freegle said...

I'm not attacking him because of his credentials before he was US manager. That has nothing to do with it. Klinsmann has now overseen a full 4-year cycle and it was less successful than the 4 year cycle before it. Those are his current credentials. He was brought in and paid handsomely to progress the program and we have regressed.

Andy Palmer said...

DK. I mentioned they would be tougher than before and you laughed it off stating we'd score 3 goals easily. The fact that you're now bringing up Jamaica's respectable run in the Copa doesn't change how wrong you were.

dikranovich said...

Andy, the USA could have put at least three past Jamaica. If Jamaica beat Mexico and make the finals you will have a chance to double down on your bet.

Coach klinsmann has a mandate, and it is to qualify for confederations cup, be it two gold cup victories or one victory and a playoff win, which by virtue of winning 2013 means USA advance to the finals of 2015 regardless. Who argues against this point?

Isn't the larger point that concacaf opposition is no pushover, and this might be the toughest hex ever, and every USA fan knows in their own minds what's best for the team.

I wonder what it would take for all fans and all of us soccer to be on the same page about what is the path forward? Or does it even freaking matter?

Andy Palmer said...

I'm actually not sure if this will be the toughest Hex yet. Mexico and the historically top Central American teams (Costa Rica, Honduras) haven't had a great post-World Cup. Panama is still tough, as they were last cycle, but I think the big story is how much stronger the Caribbean is. Jamaica and T&T are, IMO, stronger than they were 4-5 years ago.

The net result might be a hex only about as difficult as 4 years ago, but the power shift away from Central America to the Caribbean is, in my mind, the big story. And especially surprising given how well Costa Rica performed in Brazil.

Dany Tzvi said...

costa rica was without keylor, they'll be back where they were with him between the sticks and with joel campbell getting better every day (he looked quite good this gold cup).

honduras meanwhile went from the world cup straight into rebuilding. they dropped a lot of older players and went with younger guys, so they don't look as good now but come the hex i think they'll be up there again.

panama is similar to us: soccer is not the most popular sport, but it continues to grow. with this in mind, they should have a steeper growth curve than the rest of central america, and will be on a steady rise over the next 20 years looking for their first world cup berth.

as for the carribbean, i dont know as much about this topic. i agree it seems like theyll be better this cycle, but jamaica showed some real flashes last cycle and ended up coming to nothing so i would be cautiously optimistic as a carribbean football fan.

every team in CONCACAF (including us) is getting better all the time (with mexico a possible exception, due largely to the social and economic issues they face domestically). the hex will continue to be what it has always been, we will be a level above our opponents on paper but no game will go un-fought and points will always be hard to come by on the road.