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Night and day difference in midfield
by Paul Kennedy, September 12th, 2012 2:15AM
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TAGS:  men's national team


[UNDER THE MICROSCOPE] There was a night and day difference in how the USA played in the two Jamaica games. Most significantly, the midfield, which was so sloppy in Kingston, moved the ball around crisply in Columbus and held on to it better.

The four starters in the 1-0 win completed exactly twice as passes (206 vs. 103) as the quartet that started in the 2-1 loss.

And they lost the ball less in the second game than the first even though they had much more of the ball.

Without a doubt, the most impressive player in this regard was Danny Williams with 66 successful passes and three unsuccessful passes and only four times times he was tackled and lost possession.

Sept. 7 Passing (Successful/Unsuccessful)
Jermaine Jones 32/13
Kyle Beckerman 31/7
Clint Dempsey 20/2
Maurice Edu 20/6
TOTAL 103/28

Sept. 11 Passing (Successful/Unsuccessful)
Danny Williams 66/3
Jermaine Jones 60/9
Jose Torres 43/6
Graham Zusi 37/12
TOTAL 206/30

Sept. 7 Tackled & Possession Lost
Clint Dempsey 17
Jermaine Jones 13
Maurice Edu 10
Kyle Beckerman 9

Sept. 11 Tackled & Possession Lost
Jermaine Jones 16
Graham Zusi 12
Jose Torres 7
Danny Williams 4

Source: Opta (JAM-USA & USA-JAM)

  1. Scott O'connor
    commented on: September 12, 2012 at 3:33 p.m.
    I'd like to think it was a suddden injection of talent and skill that led to this dramatic difference. Just look at Jermaine Jones, however. He played in both games. He didn't suddenly get way better. The difference was that Jamaica was much more high pressure on the ball the whole game in Kingston versus sitting back in a defensive shell in Columbus. Tactically, the Jamaicans allowed the US to have the ball. Once their keeper let them down on the Gomez goal, they really pressed the rest of the game and we hardly generated a chance.
  1. Karl Ortmertl
    commented on: September 12, 2012 at 4:49 p.m.
    A lot of that was tactics. When it was 0-0, Jamaica was happy and sat back. When it was 1-0, US was happy and sat back. It's like the prevent defense in NFL football. The sit back tactic prevents you from winning a lot of times.

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