Obviously these allegations – revelations, perhaps – should be troubling to all fans of sport, but the Gold Cup matches mentioned are particularly disturbing to me because I was there. I covered the matches on the first day of the Gold Cup for USA10Kit as I would cover any other match, expecting both teams to put their best effort forward to win. They both finished 5-0, and at the time nothing really seemed out of place.
The first ever USA10Cast, the USA10Kit podcast, features Brent Latham joining Jon Arnold from Mexico where he is covering the U-17 World Cup. The guys close the book on the Gold Cup and chat about the U-17 World Cup. Latham gives a preview of the U.S.’ upcoming knockout round match with Germany and gives some names you might be hearing rise out of the youth ranks sooner rather than later.
Blake Owen - The partnership between MLS and the statistics gurus at Opta has finally paid off for fans of the US National Team. The MLS chalkboards are up-and-running, and Opta even provided stats (and chalkboards!) for the Gold Cup knockout stages.
The data from the final reveals how a lack of pressing from the United States allowed Mexico to break down the American defense to the tune of four goals. (more…)
ANTHONY MANNINO- If the loss to Panama was unacceptable, then the loss to Mexico is just disappointing. Not from the standpoint that the USMNT was the better team, but they had control of the match 22 minutes into the game. Mexico controlled the possession, but some how, some way US had a 2-0 lead. After the two goals the US defense was torn apart by Giovani Dos Santos, Pablo Barrera, and Andres Guardado.
It is not just losing to Mexico that is the problem, but not being able to play in the Confederations Cup is a huge blow for the US. Mexico will now be able to warm up for the World Cup against Spain, Brazil, Japan, winner of the Copa America, and the winner of next year’s Euros. Every team Mexico will play is a quality opponent. The US will play in the 2013 Gold Cup, and the best team they will likely face is the Mexican B team. That valuable experience is what these two squads were fighting for tonight, and Mexico won that battle. (more…)
NOAH DAVIS – I have a piece up on MLSsoccer.com arguing that Clint Dempsey helped Landon Donovan get his mojo back Wednesday night in Houston. The Fulham midfielder scored, but the Los Angeles Galaxy star created the goal, and Dempsey’s celebration made sure he and the rest of the world knew it.
(There’s also a case to be made the Dempsey helped Freddy Adu cement his importance as a someone who can make a difference off the bench. Do we remember his perfect pass, a looping, left-footed ball that probably no one else on the roster makes, if the Texan doesn’t convert Donovan’s brilliant cross? But that’s a discussion for another time. )
Bob Bradley was not wrong to start Donovan on the bench against Panama, but he needs to bring back his star for the match against Mexico. It’s not even a choice.
The play is obvious. Take off Sacha Kljestan, who had a brutal night against the Panamanians just three days after shining versus Jamaica, and insert the United States’ all-time leading goalscorer. Push Clint Dempsey up top with Juan Agudelo, leave Alejandro Bedoya out on the wing, and call it a formation.
ANTHONY MANNINO in Houston- It was not pretty, but the USMNT has now achieved their goal and will play in the Gold Cup finals. Again Bob Bradley made the gusty move to sit Landon Donovan start Alejandro Bedoya. That was not the only surprised Bradley had up the sleeve of his sweat jacket, as the American manager replaced Juan Agudelo with Freddy Adu. The teenage phenomenon who seems to have a new address every six months made all the difference with his first action in the Gold Cup. (more…)
JON ARNOLD in Houston — Plenty of athletes claim they don’t listen to what those on the outside say, particularly when the comments are critical.
But Freddy Adu knew exactly what the critics were saying.
He heard them say he had no place on the Gold Cup roster. He understood they thought his career as a top class player ended before it even started.
He just didn’t believe it.
“I know a lot of people were saying ‘Oh, he’s done, he’s this, he’s that,’ but you can’t listen to all that,” Adu said after the United States’ 1-0 victory against Panama in the Gold Cup semifinals. (more…)
The Gold Cup resumes tonight with two matchups in the Semifinals at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. USA10kit will have plenty of content from on the scene down in Texas, as well as a live chat spanning both. We’ll kick things off here at 6:45 pm ET, and will carry on through the Mexico vs. Honduras game that begins at 10 pm.
ANTHONY MANNINO in Houston- It must be the one of the most disappointing days in a soccer player’s career when their name is not part of their country’s World Cup roster. Last year Sacha Kljestan experienced that disappointment. However, Kljestan did not let missing the World Cup affect his play, and a few days later he signed with the most successful club in Belgium, Anderlecht. The move has paid off for Kljestan, and playing in the Champions League for a competitive club has helped the midfielder’s confidence.
“I feel more confidence from Bob. Obviously, I think like I said since I have been over at Anderlecht my consistency everyday, my mentality, my training, my confidence has gotten to an all time high,” Kljestan said. “So right now I feel really good about myself and my ways of helping the team, so I feel confident right now. I think my coaching staff has confidence in me, and I think most importantly above all my teammates have confidence in me, and finding in the game, and helping join the defense to the attack. So I think overall it has been good.” (more…)