June 20, 2007

US National Team: What up?

The Gold Cup semis are tomorrow in Chicago, and the two favorites haven't looked so great. Mexico has struggled mightily, losing to Honduras in the first round and struggling with a depleted Costa Rica in the quarters. The US has only given up one goal, but hasn't exactly been commanding in its wins. They kept Panama in the game for most of their quarterfinal on Saturday in Foxboro before getting out of there with a 2-1 win.

I feel pretty good about the team in general, but the attack is scaring me. Taylor Twellman is showing that he just can't score on the international stage. He had his chances against Panama to end that game, and he couldn't score. Brian Ching is a poor man's Brian McBride, and I don't think he exactly fits into Bradley's system. I think Eddie Johnson should get more of a chance than he's had so far, but he hasn't shown the same form he has in MLS. Dempsey, Donovan, and Beasley have been three of the more impressive players in the attacking third, but we need more from the forwards.

Is it a sign of a lack of quality in the position, or is it just a case of the team not clicking up front? What do you think? I go back and forth, and I'm just really not sure.

I will repeat something I said in the comments last week. If Bradley keeps with this type of style and formation, Jozy Altidore will shine when he gets the big call up.

1 comment:

POPS94 said...

I am looking at this with the perspective of enjoying the great opportunities that the US has been able to create. It is a bit frustrating but most international football matches do not end 6+ to nothing unless you are Germany in European qualifiers. The US has never been under any real threat of losing a match in this competition. I was very happy that a goal got scored against them in the last game so that they could get a sense of urgency. A little fear tends to keep the the confident soul alert.

They have played some great one touch build up in the attacking third for the first time ever. I can not help but enjoy the move from holding midfield play to attacking midfield play and all around fluidity in attack.

I wouldn't get to fired up about Altidore just yet. Not too long ago Johnson was anointed the savior of our attack and he has never really found his form after a blazing start to his international career. It will be interesting to see if Altidore's guardian "Angel" helps or deters his development.