Saturday, June 9, 2007

Fulltime thoughts

US wins, 2-0.

That's a nice scoreline when the opponent is Mexico. Against an understaffed (even by that nation's standards) Trinidad and Tobago team, the final tally is less than impressive.


John said...

First, how did that linesman get an international level game? He either doesn't know what offsides is, or doesn't have the capabilities to call it correctly.

Second, Steve Ralston was the worst player on the field for the US. If his past performances didn't prove that he doesn't belong with the Nats, then this one did.

Third, Michael Bradley is only playing because his father is coach. The US had a spell of its best soccer when Donovan was at center mid. As soon as Bradley was introduced into the middle the US' level of play immediately went down. He almost handed T&T a goal at the end, and was just poor overall.

What had Michael Bradley done to earn his calls into the National team? He's a good young player but not USMNT level.

briguy said...

I don't actually feel like starting a big, ranting debate here, but not much of the previous post makes sense.

Yes, the Cuban linesman appeared to be a shill for Castro's fading regime, with some of the worst offsides calls I've ever seen.

Ralston, while not having his best game, is solid and will continue to provide strong MNT minutes. His crossing ability is probably the best we have right now.

Finally, I am sick of people claiming nepotism with respect Michael Bradley. He's legit. He was introdueced into the game yesterday for his ability to help our side maintain posession and control the game, leading to John's uninformed assertion that "the US' level of play immediately went down."

What Bradley has "done" is provided the US, along with Benny, a fantastic future in the middle of the pitch.

In many respects, I enjoyed yesterday's lineup more than that against Guatemala. MLS seriously represented yesterday (Mapp to Ching--Donovan to Ching to Donovan to Johnson). I absolutely loved the play of Simek and Rico Clark and Parkhurst (who wasn't stellar, but pretty solid for his first cap).

john said...

You're going to have to explain how the linesman blowing calls for both teams has any connection to politics. Seems pretty absurd to me.

You did see that Ralston cross that got blown over the cross bar by about 30 yards under no pressure, you saw that right? If giveaways and doing nothing dangerous is your idea of solid play, you have every right to that opinion. But I will be shocked if he ever gets called into the USMNT again.

I understand that calling the USMNT coach out on Nepotism is a sensitive issue, and the Sam's Army militants will aggressively defend their leader under such charges. However, a few more performances like that from son, and another season on the bench in Europe, and those nepotism cries are going to get louder and louder.

What's worse, USMNT members are sure to notice that the kid doesn't belong, and it's not good for managing or coaching a team if the squad doesn't trust that the manager is acting fairly. This is something that is dangerous for Bradley and will blow up in his face if he continues with this special treatment for his son.

Anonymous said...

OK - good debate here. A couple of other observations having had a chance to attend in person. I am a big Brian Ching fan -but seriuosly, the guy should have had 3 goals by halftime. On the other hand - he does such a great job holding the ball when it is sent into the middle - other than McBride - we don't have anyone capable of doing that.

Michael Bradley looked good Thursday night - not so sharp on Saturday. Bigger issue is that if the USA is going to make a run at the Gold Cup - it might be time for Bradley, Sr. to quit changing line-ups and start the 11 guys he wants to get the job done. Experimentation time is for friendlies that don't mean anything.

mike in San Jose