OT: USA-Panama Gold Cup Open Thread

Submitted by MGoShoe on June 11th, 2011 at 7:22 PM

CONCACAF Gold Cup Group C

United States (1-0-0) vs. Panama (1-0-0)

Raymond James Stadium, Tampa

Kickoff: 8 pm ET

TV: Fox Soccer Channel, Telefutura, univisionfutbol.com, CONCACAF TV

USA’s all-time record in Gold Cup group play: 24-0-2.

USA Starters: Howard; Cherundolo, Goodson, Ream, Bocanegra; Dempsey, Bradley, Jones, Donovan; Altidore, Agudelo.

USA Subs: Hahnemann, Onyewu, Edu, Wondolowski, Lichaj, Kljestan, Bedoya.

Same starters, same subs as the Canada match.

U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A



June 12th, 2011 at 12:12 AM ^

BB has proven to be an absolute failure on a tactical level. How this team does not come out in a 4-5-1 is beyond me. Time and again, BB sends this team out in a 4-4-2 with two kids (literally) up top; remember Robbie Findley anyone? It is just embarassing to watch. I almost feel bad for the players. Panama was committed to throwing everyone forward and playing balls over the top; we should have been eating everything up in the midfield with Edu partnering Bradley, Donovan at attacking midfielder, Dempsey floating into the hole, am actual RW, etc etc.

What sickens me the most is how US Soccer fails to produce positional players. Who is the LB of the future? The RB?  This set up did not have a CAM, a dedicated RW, a true LW. We manufacture holding midfielders (Bradley, Jones, Bedoya, Edu-- who should be on the pitch! is he injured?) , Donovan played out of position on the RW (yes he can play there, but he is a striker/ attacking mid! I prefer him in the hole off of Altidore), Dempsey playing a LW when he should be a left forward-- he cuts inside and comes middle deep to pick up the ball, he is not a touchline hugging winger-- the team is INCREDIBLY NARROW, everyone up the middle where they have been developed to play, the only width at all coming from Cherundolo bombing forward. 

We have ZERO playmaking up the middle of the park with this formation (Bradley is not equipped to be a playmaking attacking midfielder, he is the American Lucas Leiva, which is fine for what it is). Bring Donovan middle where he wants to be, to link up with Bradley/Edu and spray balls to Dempsey, Altidore and a true RW. Am I asking too much? You watch Bob Bradley send out these team sheets and you throw up in your mouth... he should have gone three years ago, but Sunil Gulati and The US Soccer dictatorship (voting for Blatter was another black eye for the Federation) will never do the right thing. No development, no tactics, no growth; we've been treading water for 10 years. Infuriating.


June 12th, 2011 at 5:38 AM ^

We actually play the best when he play in more of a 4-2-2-2.  This formation only works if we can get really good width with our fullbacks down the flanks.  When we play this it allows Dempsey to get into a more central role where he can cut to the middle and put it on his right foot.  

Bradley is not an attacking midfielder, but he does make good supporting runs in the final third when it is needed like how any midfielder should play.  You want Donovan in the middle and playing the 4-2-2-2 allows both Dempsey and Donovan to be in the positions that they like the most.  

I think not having Davies is really hurting this team.  He was able to make great runs off the ball something I haven't seen any forward do with success.  CD was able to pull defenders off of Altidore and give more lanes for Donovan and Dempsey to work.  Hopefully Aguadelo can develop, but right now he just runs at double teams to much when he can just lay it off to develop the attack.  

I was really hoping we would get a different coach for this cycle.  I think BB is too loyal to the MLS players.  I want to see the younger guys who play in Europe get more shots at the starting lineup.  I'm fine with Ream and Goodson playing because we really have no other options.  I think it is a good idea to give them as much time back there as possible.  Bocanegra and Cherundolo are probably in their last cycle so I would love to see other options getting some time. 


June 12th, 2011 at 2:03 PM ^

While the Gold Cup isn’t over and there’s still a possibility (however remote) that the USMNT could win it all, last week’s terrible performance in the friendly against Spain should have been a clue as to what could happen for the USMNT in the Gold Cup.

It’s hard to place all the blame on injury setbacks for Charlie Davies, Benny Feilhaber, Oguchi Onyewu, Stuart Holden, Jonathan Spector and Jay DeMerit or the failure to get Timmy Chandler and Mixx Diskerud on the Gold Cup roster. If Chris Wondolowski hadn’t been auditioning for the Michigan Wolverines PK job last night, the USMNT might be somewhat happier today.

Give Bob Bradley his credit. He got the USMNT into the Confederations Cup in 2009, had them on the verge of winning that tournament, got them qualified for the 2010 World Cup and into the World Cup 2010 quarterfinal round after winning their group. However, his time as manager may be over if the USMNT does not advance to the Gold Cup championship game and at least put on a good showing there. A loss to or draw with Guadeloupe on Tuesday might be Bradley’s final game in charge of the USMNT. And even a 7-0 win over Guadeloupe while not allowing any shots on goal wouldn’t lock up Bradley’s job beyond the Gold Cup, if the USA doesn’t get to the championship game.

If Bradley goes, it would be no surprise for there to be a complete overhaul of the USA Soccer coaching and training regime very soon. The U20 team did not qualify for the 2011 U20 World Cup. Olympic qualifying for London 2012 starts in March. The USA U23 team qualified for the last Olympics, but didn’t advance past the group stage. CONCACAF qualifying for the London Olympics will be held in the US. It would be a huge embarrassment for the USA to fail to qualify for the next Olympics.

It has been more than 20 years since USA soccer began a steady climb to international respectability. Maybe that’s too short a time for there to have been a full complement of world class players coming from the USA. (How long did it take for the Dominican Republic to start developing a large complement of the best players in Major League Baseball?)

Apart from goalkeepers, the USA has had few players reach the heights of regular playing time for the top European clubs. However, if the USMNT hopes to stay in the FIFA top 30 (22nd in the last FIFA rankings and possibly out of the top 30 if they don’t advance to the Gold Cup championship game), it will need to set a goal of establishing a World Cup roster for 2014 composed entirely of players who are playing regularly on good European clubs.