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Bradley, Dempsey lead historic USA win
by Ridge Mahoney, February 29th, 2012 10:44PM

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[ITALY-USA REPORT CARD] Michael Bradley showed the effects of his move to Serie A with a strong showing against Italy, which the Americans defeated for the first time in their history, 1-0, with a clinical finish from Clint Dempsey. Soccer America's Ridge Mahoney grades the U.S. players ...

Starters
RATING PLAYER (CLUB/COUNTRY) GP/G
7 Tim Howard (Fulham/ENG), 73/0. He passed his toughest test early with a solid kick save of a low Alessandro Matri drive and though Italy got a fair number of shots, he didn’t need to bail out his teammates as he’s done several times in the past six months. He covered the other attempts cleanly and only a first-half mixup with his centerbacks clouded his decision-making.

6 Steve Cherundolo (Hannover/GER), 79/2. Composed defensively while trying to guide Williams into the right spots as Italy’s combination play and Sebastian Giovinco’s range troubled the USA. Limited Antonio Nocerino to very few dangerous moments as Italy usually chose to attack down the opposite side.

6 Clarence Goodson (Broendby/DEN), 25/3. Scrambled to track Matri during a shaky first half caused mainly by a lack of midfield pressure, but took a firmer grip on the game and cleared dangerous lobs into the box once Italy had fallen behind. Kept his cool as the USA rode out the tense final phase with a one-goal lead.

7 Carlos Bocanegra (Rangers/SCO), 101/12. Cut out several dangerous low crosses in addition to winning a lot of balls in the air, though he and Goodson were bailed out by the offside flag on balls played over their heads. Got a bit fortunate cutting out one driven ball that sailed over the crossbar instead of into the net.

6 Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim/GER), 3/0. Outstanding going forward on the attack and played a fine right-footed ball for Altidore to collect and set up for Dempsey’s goal. Breached often in the first half by Thiago Motta and overlapping right back Christian Maggio; played a much more solid second half with the Americans ahead and Italian substitutes struggling.

8 Michael Bradley (Chievo/ITA), 64/9. A strong presence all over the field throughout the match, Bradley served valorously as the midfield hub. The ball he played to Johnson epitomized his accuracy and vision starting attacks, yet his defensive instincts of where to move and when to challenge helped stifle Italy after its good start.

7 Maurice Edu (Rangers/SCO), 32/1. Timed his covering runs and tackles well, also played a number of accurate passes. Two turnovers in the middle third could have been costly and he allowed Andrea Pirlo too much room in the first half, but helped the Americans lock down the middle once they had the lead.

5 Brek Shea (FC Dallas), 11/0. Did more on the back end than the front; good defensive effort won balls in his own third though he and Johnson needed a half to get onto the same page. Shanked his one attempt at goal and twice was overpowered going for corner kicks lofted to him at the back post. Whipped a good cross through the goalmouth in the second half.

5 Danny Williams (Hoffenheim/GER), 5/0. Not much of an attacking impetus, though he did drive at the Italians a few times to negligible effect. He tracked runners well and usually kept a sound defensive position, and maintained a good level of effort and energy to close out the match.

8 Clint Dempsey (Fulham/ENG), 83/25. Roamed front to back with poise and invention. Clever on the ball and played balls consistently into good spots. Smacked a free kick on frame that forced a save, angled his run away from defensive pressure to steer Altidore’s layoff low into the net. Helped subdue Pirlo in the second half by dropping back to squeeze the space around him.

6 Jozy Altidore (AZ/NED), 46/13. Proved that a one-striker alignment can work if all the pieces are in place. Won a couple of free kicks in the attacking third with his hold-up play and set up the goal by turning away from two defenders to put the ball into Dempsey’s wheelhouse.

Substitutes
RATING PLAYER (CLUB/COUNTRY) GP/G
4 Sasha Kljestan (Anderlecht/BEL), 35/4. Replaced Shea and was immediately beaten by a ball chipped over his head, got into a few tackles but didn’t get much of the ball.

6 Jonathan Spector (Birmingham City/ENG), 34/0. Contributed three vital goalmouth blocks after entering in the 77th minute.

5 Terrence Boyd (Borussia Dortmund/GER), 1/0. Robustly challenged for balls and showed no nerves in earning his first cap.

NR Edson Buddle (Los Angeles Galaxy), 11/3. Stoppage-time sub for Dempsey.

(1=poor; 5=average; 10=high.)



88 comments
  1. Douglas Mohrmann
    commented on: March 1, 2012 at 8:12 a.m.
    I just took a look at the reviews. really, Bret Shea was horrible, maybe a 3. He was indecisive, unimaginative, showed absolutly no confidence and make high school mistakes. to award him a 5 only serves to keep other deserving players an opportunity to advance. this is a competative sport and the best should play. some other player should get a chance, he has had his and he are going nowhere

  1. David Mozeshtam
    commented on: March 1, 2012 at 8:44 a.m.
    I wonder what will Paul Gardner say about a day when the US beats Italy on the road, US U-23 thoroughly dominates Mexico U-23, and Mexico loses to Columbia?

  1. Keith Wendel
    commented on: March 1, 2012 at 9:08 a.m.
    I was impressed by Fabian Johnson. If Boyd "showed no nerves", he just must have poor ball skills.

  1. Albert Harris
    commented on: March 1, 2012 at 9:25 a.m.
    He'll probably say congratulations. I've never noticed that Paul was pro-Mexico except in recognizing that for the moment they have surpassed the US in the quality of their national team. He has called for widening the scope of our recruitment so we can take advantage of the large number of Latino players who tend to be overlooked under the pay to play system which has defined our youth soccer up to this point. That's not quite the same thing as Klinsi and others have said the same thing. Congrats to the US, by the way. For the first hour at least they looked as if JK's desire for more possession and a proactive approach was taking hold. After the goal, they did bunker up like the old days, but they're hardly the first to do that to protect a one goal lead. Ask their opponents yesterday who specialize in that.

  1. Carl Hudson
    commented on: March 1, 2012 at 10:03 a.m.
    Tim Howard deserves an 8, Spector a 7. The entire defense deserves a 7+. But lets not get too excited. For the last 15 minutes, this looked like a high school tournament game where a team 4 goals better than the other is behind 1-0 on a fluke goal, and they are desperately going for a tie, while the inferior team is being assaulted by an all-out attack. This game exposed a big USA weakness: We're UNABLE to counterattack after being under pressure. In fact we can't even gain possession. The only time the ball crossed the center line in the last 15 minutes were on Howard's goal kicks and punts - on which our LAZY forward people made no effort to control or inhibit Italy's re-attack. Klinsman has a lot of work to do, and people to replace in this regard.

  1. Jake Lammi
    commented on: March 1, 2012 at 10:04 a.m.
    Brek Shea was terrible and Danny Williams was unable to beat anyone on the dribble and squandered possession too many times. Dempsey on the left, Chandler on the right, Donovan to Dempsey's spot and hopefully Holden will be healthy as Michael Bradley was pretty good, still is not good at pulling the strings. Edu not that great either, but he is a much better tackler than Bradley. Holden, Edu and Donovan would be a good trio in the center of midfield if all are healthy at the same time down the road

  1. Walt Pericciuoli
    commented on: March 1, 2012 at 10:04 a.m.
    Based on the over all performance of the "team", no one deserved less than a 5 yesterday.Bradley and Dempsey had great matches.I'm still waiting for more from Jozy.Still,impressive win for the USA

  1. John Pomeroy
    commented on: March 1, 2012 at 10:07 a.m.
    We have a long way to go to catch up to Mexico and their young stars. I am optimistic we can get there before the 2d round of qualifying though. Klinsmann's tactics are really shining. Let's be sure not to make the headlines on this win too big, and not place too much emphasis on it, because the game means nothing & the Italians had their focus elsewhere.

  1. Jake Lammi
    commented on: March 1, 2012 at 10:31 a.m.
    The match may have been a friendly, but don't say the game means nothing Pomeroy. The Italians still put out a very good squad, were at home in a stadium where they never lost and the U.S. has never beaten Italy regardless of the situation. Also, the match was important for Italy due to Euro this summer. I can agree that you don't make a monumental deal out of this in the headlines, but at the same time it is still a very good result. The Americans were outplayed for a lot of the match but they held strong, got the goal and then defended admirably to see out the victory. It is all about confidence and this bodes well for Jurgen and the guys that were there. Knowing that you can score against a nation on their home pitch that rarely gives up a goal is huge.

  1. Rick Figueiredo
    commented on: March 1, 2012 at 10:36 a.m.
    Great game by the USA. Jurgen was tactically brilliant. The US made good on their opportunities and defended like a quality team when they had the lead. So glad Bradley is playing again. He is a quality game manger. I am still wondering what the issue was for his not playing in the other games . . . Dempsey is still the american's best player. And what in the world is going on with Donovan? The boy has turned into a head case. Bravo on US win. It was a joy to watch. That shot by Italy that missed the right V by inches in the 89th minute was fortunate. Howard is a good goalie within his sphere of accessibility. Outside that range he is is average. The Italians shot every ball at him. They obviously underestimated the Americans. US does however need to be more aware of sector 3, their left back sector. Italy had at least 7 balls laid out to players there, and they were open. Boyd is a ways away from being useful. He has little technical skill. Maybe he can be a bulldozer like Shay. Yeah! As a brasilian I am happy to see the USA improve. Now onto Brasil in May.

  1. Stuart d. Warner
    commented on: March 1, 2012 at 10:43 a.m.
    Spain has two #10s (Xavi and Iniesta) but we don't have one. I don't think Torres can be that guy (he doesn't play quickly enough and see the space before it opens up), and I don't think Holden is that guy either. Bradley is not a great distributor, but that's fine, because he really is a defensive mid, and he was very good yesterday, and indeed has improved greatly in his poise on the ball and reading the game. I'd really like to see Fabian Johnson at left mid and Chandler at left back together. Shea has great physical tools, but yesterday, and this is typical, in the final third he played too slowly and indecisively. Williams needs to go the way of Orozco and Castillo.

  1. Jack Niner
    commented on: March 1, 2012 at 11:03 a.m.
    @CarlH - Spot on.

  1. Mark N
    commented on: March 1, 2012 at 11:06 a.m.
    Brek Shea did nothing above average on the night, and plenty below - 5 is generous. Please say there are more real options there than him and Sascha. I Agree with Jake - MB was did very well overall, but no one should be satisfied with him as a creative AM for this team.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 1, 2012 at 11:14 a.m.
    Stupid Man, USA is not far behind Mexico? International results state otherwise at all ages. I was very impressed with the USA U23s style of play but it is a result of what I have said all along- more Hispanics on USA teams. This is probably the most ethnically diverse team USA has put on the field and it shows with the creativity and style they played. They were actually fun to watch yesterday even though there were a lot of missed calls, including 2 clear penalty calls against USA. Wake up call to USA officials!!

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 1, 2012 at 11:19 a.m.
    Stuart, Torres is the best we have until now at that position with Bradley being a true defensive mid. I think under Klins style Torres, Holden and Donovan will shine and hold their own.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 1, 2012 at 11:23 a.m.
    Benny Corona was a constant threat yesterday with U23s. It makes me wonder why it took USA this long to get him on a national team. He was first courted by Mexico's U23s to get USA interested. How many more players of this caliber is USA overlooking or ignoring??

  1. Scott O'connor
    commented on: March 1, 2012 at 11:57 a.m.
    Well Bradley was VERY good. He was always in position to make a play and never made an errant pass. Clearly his time playing Italian soccer has benefitted him and that will benefit this team going forward.

  1. Scott O'connor
    commented on: March 1, 2012 at 11:58 a.m.
    Fabian Johnson is an excellent find. Speedy, comfortable on the ball, and left footed. What a solid addition to the club. I didn't miss Timmy Chandler a bit.

  1. Scott O'connor
    commented on: March 1, 2012 at 11:59 a.m.
    Boyd looked big, speedy, and strong. Maybe a hungrier version of Altidore.

  1. Jared Bartlam
    commented on: March 1, 2012 at 2:15 p.m.
    Luis Arreola- The U23s style of play is a result of what you said all along-more Hispanics.......they had two, which is about the same number it has been for the past 10 years in the youth teams.

  1. James Madison
    commented on: March 1, 2012 at 2:59 p.m.
    Dempsey is at or close to his peak. Here's hoping that he will still be there at age 31 during WCup 2014.

  1. Raveen Rama
    commented on: March 1, 2012 at 3:03 p.m.
    I agree with those who said Brek Shae should have gotten a 3. In fact I think he is not ready to start on the team - too many give aways, and not much control. If Bradley got 8 then I think Tim Howard should have got an 8 also. Did someone say we need more Hispanics? We have German Americans! And we need more of them!! I love Hispanics - especially the ones who wave the stars and stripes when US plays Mexico. We need true Americans whether they are Hispanics, German Americans, or any other ethnic group!

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 1, 2012 at 4:13 p.m.
    Raveen, I will say it again. USA national pool should reflect its soccer playing population and domination just like in every other of its sports except golf (Tiger Woods) in USA.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 1, 2012 at 4:21 p.m.
    Stuper, I said Ethnically diverse. There were other ethnicities represented yesterday on U23s besides Hispanics and whites but your racist mentality would not let you see this. I just don't believe its a coincidence to have this diverse team play a more creative style of soccer. That makes me racist??

  1. Raveen Rama
    commented on: March 1, 2012 at 5:22 p.m.
    Luis, I don't agree with you wholly that the USA national soccer pool should reflect its soccer playing population and domination. Just because one ethnic group plays just soccer does not make them better than individuals of other ethnic groups. Of course if the best eleven available were all of one ethnic group, say, Hispanics then by all means they should be the ones to represent the country. And they would not be singled our as Hispanics but called Americans.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 1, 2012 at 5:23 p.m.
    Stating fcats about race in sports does not make me racist. You, interpreting it that way makes you racist. You, getting offended by my comments is clearly because of your bias.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 1, 2012 at 5:40 p.m.
    Latin-American would be the popular term. No matter how much good people want to say that we are all American and treated as such is unrealistic. We live in a hipocritical country where Hispanics get pulled over to be investigated only because of their skin color and American Indians live in the worst poverty of any other race. To ignore this behavior in sports is hipocritical. Raveen, I don't know where you live but everywhere I have been, California, Illinois, Arizona, Texas, etc. The top youth soccer teams usually have 75-100% Hispanics on on them. Why does this not reflect in the same numbers on USA national teams. Why are there continuously new USA born players on U17, U20, U23s Mexico teams that we have never even heard about in USA. We didn't here about Benny Corona until he signed with Tijuana and really heard a lot more about him when he joined the Mexico U23s. Come on

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 1, 2012 at 5:43 p.m.
    Also! Lets nor forget that the top youth teams usually come out California and Texas.

  1. Raveen Rama
    commented on: March 1, 2012 at 6:13 p.m.
    Luis, you're right about the racial situation in this country but we cannot continue to dwell on the same lines. In order to change that attitude it has to start somewhere, and the best point that is going to be is me and you. By the way, I am from Fiji and have been in Hawaii for the past thirty years. There's a lot of "aloha" here even courtesy on the roads!

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 1, 2012 at 6:54 p.m.
    I believe you about Hawaii. The history of this country since the pilgrims first landed here has seen it necessary to defend yourself if you are not white. The best way to do it is politically, asking or demanding equal treatment and informing and reminding everyone of past treatmehts and policies.

  1. mike vias
    commented on: March 1, 2012 at 8:10 p.m.
    Back to soccer boys, I think Freddy Adu should get a chance and I think Bradly looked very poised and in control.

  1. Bob E Ford
    commented on: March 1, 2012 at 9:02 p.m.
    What do we have to do to get ESPN to get US announcers and commentators for US Soccer? I am sure Darke and Macmanaman are great for UK fans, but it is not UK Soccer and they stink for US Soccer.

  1. mike vias
    commented on: March 1, 2012 at 10:05 p.m.
    I disagree call me crazy but I like the UK announcers. I wish espn would get Ray Hudson & Phil Schoen to do some games Hudson has a great passion for the game.

  1. Richard Leonard
    commented on: March 2, 2012 at 4:15 a.m.
    TAKE THE WIN !!!! Stop nitpicking

  1. Mark N
    commented on: March 2, 2012 at 11:40 a.m.
    After 20 excruciating years of JP Dellacamara (beginning 1990 on TNT) I will take anyone who has half a clue and knows how to stop talking occasionally. Twellman and a brit (name?) were fine on the espn3 replay. It would be great to watch the best 11 play regardless of race, and listen to the best commentators regardless of nationality.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 2, 2012 at 12:47 p.m.
    Sadly in USA soccer we are not getting the best 11 players because of several faults in the recruiting system. That's my point!!! An example of this is how so many Hispanic American players are not heard of until after they are playing on Mexico teams and winning World Cups. I would talk about other nationality players but I don't know of any that this happens to. The Italian player was courted by USA but chose to play for Italy afterwards. If every proud American here really wants to have the best 11 out there then why am I the only one noticing and mentioning that these great Mexican American players are going unnoticed in this country and therefore pulled by Mexico while we are spending money going to Germany?? How come mentioning Hispanics in USA is always a nasty debate but looking for German players is ok with everyone here

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 2, 2012 at 12:48 p.m.
    These Hispanic players I speak of are born here unlike the German players we seek. Hipocracy? I think we all know the answer.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 2, 2012 at 12:56 p.m.
    Wouldn't it be more cost effective to find a way to invest in noticing these "American" born players at an earlier age so we can have a better chance at keeping them here instead of spending much more in pulling 2nd tier German players that will only consider USA team play because they did not make the German team?? Let me remind everyone that Mexico just last year won the World Cup U17 with a USA born goalie and finished 3rd in W.C. U20. Both better performances than the Germans. I feel like I'm drinking crazy pills!! Am I missing something?

  1. Karl Ortmertl
    commented on: March 2, 2012 at 5:47 p.m.
    Just to jump into this racist thing. The U.S. leadership up until the recent past, including Bradley, has had an England fixation in my mind. Even tho' England hasn't done anything on the international level in almost fifty years, the U.S. soccer establishment has had Brit worship. To me, that manifested itself in favoring European style soccer over Latin style soccer and, with that, white players over Latino players. Not to say that the U.S. isn't a severely racist country, it is, but I think that the style preferred by the U.S. soccer leadership had more to do with who was selected to play. To me, even tho' he has a European background, Klinsman is much more open minded about his soccer and that already appears to be transcending down to the lower layers such as the U-23's

  1. Jared Bartlam
    commented on: March 3, 2012 at 10:57 p.m.
    Luis Arreola, how can you say that some of these German-Americans were picking the US as only a second option....who is to say it isn't their first choice??? These are children of American servicemen...you know the people overseas that protect our country! Funny, you call them 2nd tier German players but they are starting in one the top four leagues in the world unlike so of the ones you are talking about. You are saying the same thing that you accuse everyone(ppl on here and the USSF) but instead of whites keeping Hispanics out you are wanting to keep out children of our servicemen......

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 4, 2012 at 12:33 a.m.
    2tier in regards to national selection. I can bet you anything most if not all of these players would first pick to play for Germany if given the choice. That's an easy guess. I want to keep out our servicemen's children huh? Ha ha. So Jared, Mexico's superior performances at U17s and U20 W.C. along with them recruiting unkown to USA players at the same time, does not worry you? There is something obviously wrong with the recruiting system when this happens so regularly. Its easier for people like you to defend a failed policy than confront the reality. I wondrous why.

  1. Jared Bartlam
    commented on: March 4, 2012 at 5:38 p.m.
    I'm not worried about Mexico's performances in the U-17s or U-20s....if they counted at the Senior level then Nigeria, Brazil, Argentina, and Ghana would be 1,2,3,4 in the world year in year out and would be winning the World Cup every four years...but that's not the case. Recruiting system.....happens regularly....I can only think of a couple players that would make a difference in the past 10 years, Rossi(who we never had a shot at) and Subotic (who we definitely could have gotten). There might be a couple more that I can't think of but it seems like we do a very good job at keeping dual national players....Holden, Donovan, Adu, D. Williams, T. Chandler, F. Johnson, Bocanegra, Mix, George John, Bunbury, Sapong, and quite a few more that are playing on youth teams such as A. Morales, Bijev, Orozco, Oceguada, Vidal, Ruelas, and a few others. Can't win them all but I say we are doing pretty good especially at the senior level.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 5, 2012 at 12:20 a.m.
    Jared, that just shows how your ignorance of world soccer really is. 1/2 of the countries you mentioned -Brazil and Argentina- have dominated the world stage with world cups or individualll play-messi/maradona. Nigeria and Ghana have pretty much always been the top African teams. Brazil has won the seniors world cup 5 times (a record). Argentina has won it as well and has its current best player in the world. Who has the better record than these 2 teams? Mexico has been successful as of lately. If you along with the rest if the hipocruts want to wait until Mexico wins a Senior world cutups, so be it. Fact stillbremains that Mexico's U17 and U20 are the best

  1. Jared Bartlam
    commented on: March 5, 2012 at 2:33 p.m.
    Ignorance...not at all. You missed my point..if the youth cups meant something then those teams would be the top 4 teams in the world right now and have won World Cups in the past 20 years. I know that Brazil and Argentina are top teams so that is a given but let's break it down a little. Nigeria has won 2 youth WCs and 5 second place finishes. Since these successes at the youth level, they made it out of the group stage in 1994 and 1998, failed to get out of the group stage in 2002 and 2010 and didn't even qualify for the World Cup in 2006. They are now ranked #56 in the world. In that same timeframe, Brazil has won 6 youth WCs and 5 second place finishes, with that they have won 2 senior WCs and a second place finish. Ranked #7 in the world. Argentina has won 5 youth WCs(all U-20) and that has translated into one second place finish, round of 16 in 1994, Quarters in 1998,2002 and 2010, group stage in 2002. Ranked #11 in the world. Ghana has 3 youth WCs and 4 second place finishes. Translated into not qualifying for the WC in 1994,1998, or 2002. Out in the round of 16 in 2006 and thanks to defensive blunders by the US they made it the Quarters in 2010. Ranked #23 in the world. Without any youth success placing wise, the US has made it to the round of 16 in 1994(knocked out by eventual champs Brazil 1-0) and 2010(thanks to another defensive blunder against Ghana), group stage in 1998 and 2006, Quarters in 2002. Of course Brazil and Argentina are great but WC results is arguably better than Ghana and definitely better than Nigeria and the US has done it without the youth results.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 5, 2012 at 6:39 p.m.
    USA has done what? USA is not in the soccer category of any of these teams. Anyone can make it out of groupdepending on luck of draw. Brazil has the record for most senior world cup wins. Argentina twice. They have shown this consistency in youth tournaments. Mexico has won the U17 W.C. twice and has been consistently competitive in the youth events. They have dominated the Concacaf for most. Arrogant Americans like you will always say these events do not matter until they win one or perform a little better. The fact still remains that the best U17 and U20 from each country go to these W.C. to represent their countries and the best win. Messi won a U17 W.C. African teams have been notorious for fielding overage players but still develop a lot of the English Premiers best soccer players.

  1. Jared Bartlam
    commented on: March 5, 2012 at 8:45 p.m.
    Delusional....or just have the hater blinders on...whatever you want to call it. I said that Brazil and Argentina are among the top teams in the world and to say that the US isn't in their category, that's completely ok. But to say that the the US isn't on Ghana's level and better than Nigeria is downright delusional...which I am talking about the senior level the entire time. Sure I would be happy if the US won some youth tourneys but for me it's ALL about the US Men's. I bet money if you asked professionals, what's more important, you winning a U-17 WC or Men's WC, they would pick Men's without a doubt..that's the payday, that's what makes or break's a player's national career. Why do soccer analysts always talk about Messi needing to win something on the national stage...they don't even mention a youth tourney win.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 5, 2012 at 11:48 p.m.
    Messi is already considered the best player in the world for some time now without having to win the seniors W.C. Of course the U17 and U20 W.C. are not as important as the Seniors W.C. but they are a pretty big deal to every "real" soccer country in the world. The top European and South American countries always seem to do well in these youth events. It is the arrogant mentality like yours that likes to make excuses for our obviously failed recruiting system in USA. These youth events are a measuring stick to evaluate a country's development. But I guess its ok to suck at these youth W.C. as long as we make the 2nd round in the Seniors W.C. and average between 30-40 in the rankings. Mediocre.

  1. Jared Bartlam
    commented on: March 6, 2012 at 12:03 a.m.
    Arrogant mentality?? how so?? It sounds quite the opposite. What failed recruiting system are you referring to? I never said that it's ok to suck at youth WC, PLEASE, point that out in my comments. I said that youth tourneys don't always translate into success on the men's side. Also, we are pretty far behind on the soccer stage to everyone else...soccer is the number 1 sport in every country outside the US where it is fourth at best. I think we have improved more and more since the early 90s...I think it's arrogant thinking to assume that the US can just pick up a sport and automatically be great at it...Klinsmann has the US going in the right direction, from the senior side down to the implentation of the new youth soccer development program.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 6, 2012 at 12:18 p.m.
    Jared, sorry for the insults. I get carried away. Saying that youth success is not really needed for seniors success in soccer is like saying college basketball is unnecessary for success in NBA. While it is true in some cases it is proven to be beneficial in the long run for development purposes. USA has done nothing at the Senior level to somehow make them seem like the exception. The only examples you have a point on is African teams but even these countries produce many more elite players than USA while as a team they struggle at older ages. As "Americans" we should demand a better recruiting and development strategy to better our chances at the Senior level and not accept the fact that in very few cases youth success doesn't translate into senior success. That is a mediocre way of thinking.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 6, 2012 at 12:27 p.m.
    Jared, there are very few countries, if any, where organized soccer is played by so many children. That should be an advantage. Soccer in Illinois,California, Texas, etc. Is bigger than any other sport with kids. I don't quite get how it is 4th. We might not be as good at it as in other sports but this is due more to the fact that we are not recruiting the best talent and this pay to play system is getting to be ridiculous. We are developing now a noticeable amount of players that are good enough to play for Mexico's national teams yet they go unnoticed here. Think about it. Mexico is the Concacaf king and they are looking here for national team players. That's a red alert in my book. If the white man had never accepted the black community into USA sports do you think we would be the best at any of them?? We forcefully changed those policies and benefited. Its time to do the same in soccer.

  1. Jared Bartlam
    commented on: March 6, 2012 at 2:14 p.m.
    Again you are missing my point, I never said that we don't need youth success...the point I am making is that youth success doesn't always translate into success at the senior level. Some other examples are teams finishing in the top 4 in youth WC...Qatar, Oman, Australia, Burkina Faso, and Mali..that hasn't translated into success at the senior level. The point I've been trying to make is that success at the youth level isn't the end all to be all for success at the senior level. Of course other countries will produce more elite players...in every country the best athletes play soccer..in the US the athletes have three other sports to choose from that are more popular at the 11-and beyond age range. Yes, I know that soccer is the most popular sport from ages 3-10, but go look, the better athletes choose football, basketball, or baseball(to some extent). Kobe Bryant, loved basketball and soccer, chose basketball. Chad Ochocinco, loved football and soccer, chose football. These are a few examples among many. Yes, as an American (not sure why you put that in quotations) I want to a better recruiting and development strategy (which Klinsmann is in the process of doing) and no I don't accept the fact that youth success isn't important....AGAIN, the point was that it doesn't ALWAYS translate into senior success. I'm sorry you are delusional if you think that soccer is more popular than football in Cali and Texas..maybe at the U-6 or so range but as soon as those kids can put pads on, the best athletes are going to football........I believe we are doing pretty well recruiting talent but the best talent will be going to the other three sports because of the mentality of most Americans thinking that football, basketball, and baseball are the best sports to play and the best way to get paid in the end. Of course Mexico is going to recruit in the US, the US recruits in Mexico also, not to mention Norway, Germany, and other countries. I think you are little delusional to think some supreme beings are keeping other nationalities besides "white" people out of soccer.

  1. Alex G. Sicre
    commented on: March 6, 2012 at 3:46 p.m.
    Luis, Jared, stop already. You guys are taking up this whole article arguing about your own personal preferences. Neither of you will win. Luis cant back down, his ego wont let him.

  1. Jared Bartlam
    commented on: March 6, 2012 at 4:11 p.m.
    I will point out that the article is above the comment section, and that the comment section is used for discussion.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 6, 2012 at 5:30 p.m.
    Jared, I completely agree with your last comment, lol. Football is the most popular sport amongst Latinos in California? I can't imagine that. Last I checked California had a very large Hispanic community, amongst the most of any other state. Have you ever asked yourself where are all the great Hispanic athletes going to aside from baseball? Football, Basketball? I don't think so. Soccer is #1 in other countries but they still find time to produce Nowitzki, Nash, Ginobli, Scola, Ming, Barbosa, Gaso, etc. Spain, Germany, Argentina are top 5 in Soccer and Basketball. Brazil is up there in both. As a matter a fact Argentina and Spain do amazingly well in many other sports. My issue isn't with Mexico recruiting USA players. My issue is how come we don't here about those players until they are on Mexico's national teams? Why does Soccer America write several articles about that Italian American player before he decided to go to Italy and not about any Mexicans? We never had a chance with that kid, by the way. If you and me know perfectly well that soccer is 4th in popularity to most USA citizens, then we can both agree that soccer is the most popular in the Hispanic community in the USA. Therefore, there is a better chance of getting the best atLatino athletes for our national teams. Yet with this knowledge that everyone has we are not looking in the right places.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 6, 2012 at 5:37 p.m.
    By the way the best athletes that choose to play basketball or football are in majority black. The best for soccer are Latinos. Why is a superior soccer country like Mexico noticing "national" team players before USA does or wants to? Doesn't that seem a little weird to you?

  1. Jared Bartlam
    commented on: March 6, 2012 at 10:29 p.m.
    I really like how you just make up stuff that I say....I never said football is the most popular sport among Latinos in Cali, I said it is the most popular sport in Cali period....also even though there is a large Hispanic community in Cali, there still is a larger population of white ppl and combine that with the black ppl and it makes football the most popular sport. On the recruiting, maybe we don't hear about them because there are better players elsewhere...like I said we do pretty well getting the Mexican-American to choose the US. For the one or two cases you are referring to we have gotten 10-15 to chose the US. Plus if I remember correctly the one you mentioned was a keeper....the US has done a great job at producing keepers so that's not a problem. They talk about Rossi because he is one the world's better strikers in a problem area for the US, so of course it's going to get a publicity. If you look at the youth teams, there are getting more and more diverse so I don't understand what you are complaining about...and you forget that we are limited in scouting compared to other countries because of not having the money to have a world class scouting program even though I think we do pretty well.....if people would actually go to the games and fill the stadiums up on consistent basis then we would be better off.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 6, 2012 at 10:54 p.m.
    Ok. There are more white and black people in California. Fact is Hispanics #1 sport is Soccer. Therefore, most of the best Hispanic Athletes play soccer. This should reflect on our national teams the same way it does in the NBA with basketball. It does not for either of several reasons. The goalie won the W.C. then there is Benny Corona, who first was recruited by Mexico's U23s and on their roster until we heard of him. He's a striker by the way. After that there is 2 more currently on the U23s Mexico team. 6 on Mexico's national women's team that went to the world cup. One more that played for Argentina's U20 in W.C. I am sure I am missing some more but will keep you updated. But this should be enough. These are superior soccer countries taking our players that we are ignoring. You mean to tell me we don't have the budget to recruit the best in our own country but we have the budget to fly to Germany and look there??

  1. Jared Bartlam
    commented on: March 7, 2012 at 1:54 p.m.
    It does reflect in our national teams...our youth teams are getting more and more diverse with each year. Go look at the U-15 group called in. The goalie won the WC, you mean Mexico won the WC...I would be willing to beat anything that the US keepers were better individually, also if you look at the US U-20 team, they have 4 keepers, two white and two Hispanics(who play in the Mexican PL). I don't know where you have been but Corona was on the Nats map before getting called into Mexico's U-23, Yanks Abroad has talked about him for the past two years. I can care less about the women's as our Women's usually dominates. As for the Argentinian(Hoyos) he was called into a US youth camp and declined to play for Argentina...then he got into a serious car wreak and Argentina has backed off and it looks like the US is still in contact. Still you ignore all of the ones I named that we recruited who were dual...which far out number the ones we lost. I don't know the budget but it's not huge and Klinsmann has contacts throughout Germany so it probably wasn't that hard.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 7, 2012 at 2:16 p.m.
    I just looked at U15 and U14 roster. There are more than 1/3 Hispanics. We are getting closer I guess. I think if Hispanics felt truly at home here they would eventually end up picking to play here and drastically improving our national teams.

  1. Jared Bartlam
    commented on: March 7, 2012 at 2:39 p.m.
    I guess you will only be happy when there is only one or two white players....

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 7, 2012 at 4:46 p.m.
    Jared I am offended by your last comment.

  1. Jared Bartlam
    commented on: March 7, 2012 at 8:55 p.m.
    Well..I see you on here always complaining about not having enough Hispanics, even though if you actually look at the youth teams they have been getting more and more diverse over the past ten years. Then on your comment "I just looked at U15 and U14 roster. There are MORE than 1/3 Hispanics. We are getting closer I GUESS. How else can you take that statement??????

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 7, 2012 at 9:39 p.m.
    Closer is closer. Although it wouldn't be a huge surprise. Doesn't mean I want it to be 99% Hispanic. To me it should at least be 1/2-3/4 to reflect the soccer passion that our best Hispanic American athletes have shown for soccer.

  1. Jared Bartlam
    commented on: March 7, 2012 at 10:48 p.m.
    Well, I can care less what the makeup of the national team is as long as we put the best out on the field and ones that want to play for the Red, White, and Blue. Who's to say that white and black players don't have the same passion...just because the general public of those races don't have a passion for the game doesn't mean those individual players don't. Also, who says that the Hispanics from America are that much better anyway...look at Bornstein and Castillo...some of the worst defenders we have had...look at Torres(who I like) put there are better players ahead of him ie Holden(when healthy), Bradley(now that he is getting consistent time in Serie A), Williams, and then arguably Jones and even Mix Diskerud(who I have called to be the next Holden but without the bad luck of injuries, not quite as good on the ball tackler but has more flair).

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 8, 2012 at 9:21 a.m.
    Jared, there are probably white and black players with the same passion but as you and everybody else that likes to make excuses for USA soccer say, the best black and white athletes choose 3 other sports before soccer. The best Hispanic athletes have and always will pick soccer 1st. Logically that should reflect in pit player pools. You mention bornstein and Castillo only because so many end up going to other countries and only because we are not recruiting in the barrios whatsoever. When we make a conscience effort to truly recruit the best here, which means physically going to barrios, then we can compare. Lets not forget USA best player, Donovan, is 1/2 Hispanic along with team captain, Bocanegra. Hercules Gomez has been a consistent scorer in Mexico league and scored an impressive goal yesterday vs Sounders. Torres is the most creative midfielder USA has right now.

  1. Jared Bartlam
    commented on: March 8, 2012 at 9:42 a.m.
    Yes, I have said that the best black and white athletes choose 3 other sports...but that doesn't mean that the ones that choose soccer don't have passion....Dempsey( who is the best US player), Holden, Howard, Bradley, and some others but I made my point. LOL, trying to claim Donovan...he is 1/4 Mexican, 1/2 Irish, and 1/4 German. Gomez has had his shot and never did anything with it. Torres is not the most creative, that would go to Dempsey, then if you include youth Adu and Mix.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 8, 2012 at 10:01 a.m.
    Dempsey is USA best striker, not best or most creative player, by far. Trying to claim Donovan? That was racist remark. Adu is also a creative player. Gomez never had a chance under Bradley. Bradley Jr. Sucked at midfield under his dad but was always in starting line up. I agreed with the possibility of passion. Fact is still best athletes picking soccer first are Hispanics. It should and will reflect on national teams sooner or later. MLS teams are voting for rules that will allow them to sign foreign players Because they would rather sign and are doing so in large numbers, in South and Central America.

  1. Jared Bartlam
    commented on: March 8, 2012 at 11:54 a.m.
    Dempsey plays midfield, has been since playing the MLS. The past year, the US and Fulham have given him the freedom to roam in the middle playing the 10. He is the best player by far. Not racist....you are always talking up Hispanics and then lie about the ethnicity of Donovan to try to further your point(wrong that it is). Doesn't matter how Bradley played in the past, playing in Serie A has improved his play, if you think not then you have blinders on. Of course the MLS is trying to allow more ppl in because they want the league to eventually get to EPL, La Liga, Serie A, and etc....plus they have signing Europeans also, many from the Scandinavian countries.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 8, 2012 at 12:59 p.m.
    Jared, what's wrong with stating Hispanic accomplishment s? Why do people like you find it offensive or bothersome? Why can't we be proud of where our ancestors are from? But its ok to try and mirror Epl? Why would we want to follow in those footsteps if England's national teams continue to deteriorate? They are not a model to follow to improve your own country's players. I was off by a 1/4 with Donovan. Not a lie. I never said Bradley did not improve. I said he sucked back then but still kept his spot while others were not given a realistic opportunity. Don't worry I know you and others are are a product of today's politics. When and if Klins is permitted to field more than 1/2 Hispanic players on National teams, I will enjoy many of comments posted here in uproar. Sounders. beat Santos yesterday. More than 1/2 of the. team, Hispanic. Funny bow that works.

  1. Jared Bartlam
    commented on: March 8, 2012 at 2:05 p.m.
    Nothing is wrong with it but you think Hispanics are the only ones that can play soccer. Yeah, it's ok to try to mirror the EPL, the EPL is the most successful and deepest league is soccer. The England national team has nothing to do with the EPL...how do you even try to connect those two??? Plus England has great players, its just that they can't put it together on the field, Portugal and Argentina have the same problems of late. Bradley never sucked and really he wasn't keeping ppl out, SR was, if anyone it was Edu and others. Our starting midfield at this point when healthy is Bradley and Holden. I'm not a product of any politics....far from it...but what to expect but a sweeping remark by someone who is blinded by his own ignorance. What's funny is how you worded that....Sounders who had 1/2 Hispanics and the rest white and black beat a team with ALL Hispanics...Brad Evans(white) had one of the goals. Man, them blinders are bad!!!

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 8, 2012 at 2:31 p.m.
    How can you not connect them? Look at the leagues that have their teams with the most national players. Spain, Brazil and Argentina, Uruguay, Mexico. All these country's leagues produce have a m strong majority of national players. All of these countries either are top 10 in the world or produce the highest paid players in the world, ir both. Coincidence? England?? Have nothing to show for at any of the age groups of any world cup. Consequence of league rules? Of course. I never said Hispanics are the only ones that can play soccer. There were more than 1/2 on that team though and maybe 2 white Americans though. Santos will advance. Just proves my point. You need Hispanics on a large scale in the MLS to compete with other countries clubs. Same on National level. Results and facts back me up.

  1. Jared Bartlam
    commented on: March 8, 2012 at 3:23 p.m.
    Lol, the more you talk the more it shows you don't really know what you are talking about. Yeah, Spain is about the only one. Majority of Brazils, Argentinas, and Uruguay's roster play overseas and not in their respective leagues. Mexico isn't a top 10 national team and they don't produce the highest paid players in the world. It doesn't prove your point, you have said before that Hispanics are better soccer players but a team FULL of Hispanics lost to a team that had nearly half white and black. You don't need Hispanics, you just need good foreign players, could be French, English, German, Dutch, Swedish, and so on and so on. Or if the MLS could keep the good up and coming Americans but most are going overseas for money and development...ie Gatt, Mix, Gyau, Renken, Lleget, and many more.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 8, 2012 at 5:22 p.m.
    Argentina and Brazil have the most players playing in the best paid leagues. They also have their own leagues where the majority of players are local. That means they are developing their own players instead of relying on foreigners. Mexico has many players in Europe playing for the best teams and has had a history of it. Mexico also happens to have the best paid league in the entire American Continent. Chivas is working on a deal to get Guardiola as coach for them!! The rules these countries implement for home grown players is what makes their players successful anywhere in the world. England, USA?? Not so much.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 8, 2012 at 5:25 p.m.
    Come 2013, Mexico will be in top 10 in the ever so inconsistent Fifa rankings. I guarantee it.

  1. Jared Bartlam
    commented on: March 8, 2012 at 8:19 p.m.
    I never said Brazil and Argentina didn't have the most players in the best paid leagues...comprehension...I think it's pretty evident why they have their own leagues with local players but I guess I can break it down for you. First, the leagues have been around for over a hundred years compared to less than 10 years for the MLS. Secondly, soccer is the most popular sport in their countries so it's easy to fill the stands (you know it's kind of important to make money) so in turn the MLS is behind in interest to NFL, NBA, and MLB so to make money buy filling the stadiums they have to buy bigger market players overseas (ie Beckham, Llundburg, Henry, Keane, etc). Mexico has many players playing for the best team....WHAT???..who besides Chicharito?? If it's true about being best paid leagues that's not saying much. England is implementing some home-grown rules fairly soon....as for the MLS, I don't have to repeat myself..seems pretty obvious to me. As for Mexico being in the top 10, you have to pray for the crappy FIFA rankings to put them there because they don't deserve to be there. Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Portugal, England, Italy, France, Russia, Belgium, Denmark, prob a few others but those off the top of my head.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 8, 2012 at 11:27 p.m.
    At the moment England, France, Italy, Denmark, Russia, Greece, Belgium(really?), are not better than Mexico. This will be proven at Confederations. Mexico will cruise through Concacaf. Jonathan Dos Santos currently plays for Barcelona. His brother Giovanni played for them AZ well along with Rafael Marquez who was their captain for many years. Marc Fabian from Chivas is working on a deal with Manchester United. Vela played for Arsenal. There are many more playing for English and Spanish clubs. There have been quite a few that have been top players for Real Madrid like Hugo Sanchez, a Real Madrid legend. Ochoa currently plays goalie for Paris St. Germain.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 8, 2012 at 11:32 p.m.
    USA should be ranked at about 40 right now if you ask me. It will be tough to qualify for W.C.

  1. Jared Bartlam
    commented on: March 8, 2012 at 11:52 p.m.
    No, all of those teams are better than Mexico and all but Mexican homers would agree...yeah even Belgium, you probably haven't watched them play but they have some of the young stars in Europe. Courtois (keeper bought by Chelsea to replace Cech loaned out to Atletico Madrid to replace De Gea), they also have Sunderland's Keeper, Kompany(Man City CB), Vermalean (Arsenal CB), Vertonghen (up and coming Defender at Ajax), Fellaini (CM for Everton) Defour (CM for Porto, linked to Liverpool, Man U, and Chelsea) Witsel (CM for Benfica), Hazard (Winger at Lille, linked to everyone), Mertens (winger at PSV), Lukaku(striker at Chelsea), Dembele(CM,Striker at Fulham)....Yeah, they have a ton of players playing in Europe...and some great ones at that. You said Mexico has players in Europe NOW, Dos Santos can't be counted as he doesn't get consistent time. Giovanni has been sitting at the bench for Tottenham now at Racing Santander. Fabian has already been told he isn't leaving Chivas, Vela sat the bench at Arsenal loaned out to Real Sociedad. The majority of your players play in the Mexican PL. No one is at a big club outside Chicharito and Dos Santos (who isn't getting time).

  1. Jared Bartlam
    commented on: March 8, 2012 at 11:56 p.m.
    How did I miss that...lol...don't even know where your own players play..Ochoa plays for Ajaccio. Ranked #40....delusional Mexico fan...you are hopeless.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 9, 2012 at 9:36 a.m.
    No Mexico is a better team than all those beating France with all its stars in World Cup proving that stars not always translates into great teams, like you said. Both Dos Santos, Guardado, Moreno, Ochoa, Chicharito, Vela, Juarez, Barrera,etc. Play in Europe. D Nigris and Fabian have all been made offers by top euro teams because they are good enough to be there, regardless if they stay. Mexico won the U17 W.C. and took 3rd in U20 W.C. to prove they are on the rise. I can see why you root for Belgium who has done nothing. You are white. Fact is Mexico has proven to be a top 15 at the least but I am not worried as they will be there by the end of this year. Arriba Mexico Cavrones!!

  1. Jared Bartlam
    commented on: March 10, 2012 at 12:55 a.m.
    Beating a team once doesn't mean you are better than them...at that then you would agree that the US is better than Italy. You said top European teams...they play in Europe yeah but not for top teams. I don't root for anyone outside US, I just follow everyone and know who is good and who isn't..again on your failed logic then I should pull for England, Germany, Canada, Australia, Denmark, Sweden, Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Wales, and so on and so on...but I don't, its the Nats and no one else. Keep dreaming and praying those awful FIFA rankings put them there....

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 10, 2012 at 2:31 a.m.
    Jared, wow. You really know a lot. Italy was a friendly game. Usually those games are not really taken seriously. Mexico dominated France in a world cup game. There's a slight difference. Only time will prove me right but don't worry. I will be there to say I told you so.

  1. Jared Bartlam
    commented on: March 10, 2012 at 11:49 a.m.
    Anybody that watched that game knows the Italians were taking the game seriously as most professionals dont like to lose regardless of the magnitude of the game. Hating much? So again on your logic the US was a better team than Mexico from 2002-2011. When people start mentioning Mexico has a top nation then you have something but i wouldn't ever claim Fifa rankings, and whatever you want to believe most ppl wouldn't think Mexico has a top 10 or prob not even top 15.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 11, 2012 at 7:27 p.m.
    Since 1993 Top 10 - 10 times, not Top 15 - 6 times. Average rank is 13.

  1. Jared Bartlam
    commented on: March 11, 2012 at 8:41 p.m.
    FIFA RANKINGS...who cares....they suck. So you are telling me that the US was legitimately #4 in the world prior to 2006 WC.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 11, 2012 at 11:38 p.m.
    Most people know Mexico is top 15 at least. Most people know that presently they are good enuogh to be top 10. Mexico historically has been a worthy adversary to Brazil and Argentina. Between Conmebol and Concacaf, Mexico is consistently just behind these 2 countries. This is why Mexico is always invited to Copa America. Conmebol had a better showing than UEFA at last world cup. USA has a long way to go. That's logic.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 11, 2012 at 11:41 p.m.
    No other team has given Brazil and Argentina better games or holds a better record vs them on this continent and perhaps the world.

  1. Jared Bartlam
    commented on: March 11, 2012 at 11:44 p.m.
    So says the homer...keep them green tinted glasses on..lol.


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