Thursday, August 7, 2008

Oh, Did We Get Lucky!

If you are surfing to this blog, you probably saw the USA squeak by Japan 1-0 to open up the Olympic tournament for the Stars and Stripes. A fair result could have been 2-1 for Japan, which created more dangerous chances than our boys and demonstrated more fluid passing and coherent defense.

A few quick bits:

Brian McBride - Battled hard as always but there was seldom anyone available for the second ball.

Freddy Adu - Held the ball way too long and was too easily muscled off the ball. Always seems not to notice the drop man when receiving a pass and surrounded by 2-3 defenders. Gave up possession too easily.

Michael Bradley - A virtual ghost for most of the match offensively but held his own defensively. The offensive terror of the Eredivisie seemed to be MIA today. Try him at playmaker vice young Freddy.

Maurice Edu - Earned his spurs today in a position he is not accustomed to playing. The near -penalty at the end can be attributed to defending like a midfielder in the open field (his natural habitat), not a defender in the penalty area.

Marvell Wynne - Stout performance, defended his turf like it belonged to his family. Phenomenal run to set up the US goal.

Stuart Holden - Solid match, well taken shot on goal but often left Orozco stranded.

Heath Pearce - Why could you not be on this team? Instead, the left back position became an open gate on the Honda highway.

Michael Orozco - Had a few bright spots early but the rest of the match seemed to zig when the Japanese zagged (see entry for Pearce, Heath). Needs to stay on his feet more.

Robbie Rogers - Reminded me of the old never-say-die Bennie Olsen on the wing. One of the few American players to show any imagination.

While a win is a win, I'm not very optimistic on the USA's chances against the Netherlands. They looked like 11 individuals and urgently need to get into a team rhythm if they want to have any chance of advancing. Michael Bradley should be used like the playmaker he is but he also needs to step up his game. He could blow his chance at that fat contract in England if he doesn't.


Craig said...

I disagree about Bradley's supposed non-appearance. He got off a good outside shot, held down the middle of the field defensively for the U.S. ahead of Parkhurst and Edu, and he was constantly available for outlet passes (and I can't recall him ever turning it over as he moved the ball forward). I think this is the first negative view I've seen of his performance.

Chris Courtney said...

Fair enough. I watched it again and he did OK on defense. That said, he did not link well to the attacking players and did not show the imagination we've seen during his time at Heerenveen. I love the kid but I expected more from a guy who may be worth $13 million.