Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Herculez spells relief for Klinsmann's men
by Mike Woitalla, September 12th, 2012 1:32AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Confidential

MOST READ
TAGS:  men's national team, world cup 2014

MOST COMMENTED

The USA breathes much easier now after beating Jamaica, 1-0, thanks to Herculez Gomez's free kick in the 55th minute Tuesday in Columbus, Ohio.

Four days earlier, the USA fell to Jamaica for the first time ever, giving the Jurgen Klinsmann's men just four points after three games in their six-game semifinal round. Now, with seven points, they face Antigua & Barbuda (away) and Guatemala (home), so the Americans should cruise into the final round – the Hexagonal – of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. (Challengers Guatemala and Jamaica will take points from each other in their October encounter; the top two teams advance.)

TALE OF TWO GAMES. The Reggae Boyz’s 2-1 win in Kingston somehow failed to inspire confidence in the Reggae Boyz, who played scared – so meekly in fact in the first half it made it difficult to imagine how the USA could ever have lost to this crew.

The Jamaicans made it easy for the Americans, but for its part the USA passed accurately and moved fluidly around the field. (ESPN2’s stat-keeper put the U.S. first-half pass completion rate at 91 percent.) Klinsmann’s introduction into the midfield of the creative Graham Zusi and the sure-passing Jose Torres helped enable the Americans to dominate possession, of which they had much less after both were subbed in the 72nd minute.

The return of attack-minded right back Steve Cherundolo made a huge difference as he constantly unsettled the Jamaicans, while Danny Williams was a big improvement over defensive midfielder Kyle Beckerman, for whom nothing went right in Kingston.

GOAL SHORTAGE. Frustrating was that the U.S. dominance in the first half -- in which they outshot the Boyz 8-0 -- didn’t result in a goal. Zusi hit the top of the crossbar and forced a magnificent save from keeper Dwayne Miller. Cherundolo also forced a super save from Miller, who deflected the effort onto the post. William’s 25-yard effort hit the inside of the post.

Not until Gomez’s free kick in the 55th minute did the Americans get on the board. It was enough, of course, because of how feebly the Jamaicans attacked. But one thing Klinsmann hasn’t accomplished in his 13 months in charge is creating a high-scoring team.

Only three times in 18 games under Klinsmann has the USA scored more than one goal.

HAIL HERCULEZ. The 30-year-old may finally have job security with the U.S. national team. Coming into the Tuesday’s games, his 15 appearances were spread over five years. He debuted for the “B” team Coach Bob Bradley took to the 2007 Copa America while still a member of the Los Angeles Galaxy and played two games.

Leading the Mexican league in scoring in 2010 – tied with Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, then with Chivas Guadalajara – brought Gomez back in the fold and he came off the bench twice and started once at the 2010 World Cup.

Gomez, now with Santos Laguna, got his first call from Klinsmann in May and scored in a 4-1 loss to Brazil. He scored in the USA’s first 2012 World Cup qualifier, a 3-1 win over Antigua & Barbuda, and set up Dempsey’s goal in last Friday’s 2-1 loss. His goal on Tuesday marked his fifth for the USA.



7 comments
  1. John DiFiore
    commented on: September 12, 2012 at 1:56 a.m.
    Great goal Herc!! And even better hustle..as always. You really we huge in putting them on their heals!!!! THANK YOU!
  1. David Sirias
    commented on: September 12, 2012 at 7:54 a.m.
    Recall when Herc was forced to play midfield in MLS ? Coaching is better now in MLS , though still could be much better. Herc is a well rounded center forward, better than anyone in thè pool His role will be energy off the bench in '14. Just like with his club. We do not need plodding forwards who cannot run off the ball We need two more guys with brains and better than average speed such as Herc and another guy with true physical hold up skills like Lenhart or sapong to step up
  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: September 12, 2012 at 8:11 a.m.
    Great goal? How about a huge gaffe by a keeper who had made three brilliant saves in the first half.
  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: September 12, 2012 at 8:41 a.m.
    Yea Herc's goal was a fortunate goalie blunder but was still well taken. His first free kick was better but missed. It was good to see he was given the responsability of taking these and he deserved it. Its a shame MLS could not find a spot for him. Hercules and Torres have cemented spots on this team. I think we will see them start in 2014. Hercules is our best forward at the moment.
  1. Walt Pericciuoli
    commented on: September 12, 2012 at 10:09 a.m.
    Great win USA.Why such a difference from Fri? Susi,Torres,Cherundolo,Bocanegra and Williams instead of Beckerman and Edu.Although I still prefer to see Edu ahead of Jones.
  1. John Burns
    commented on: September 12, 2012 at 10:37 a.m.
    The one detail of the match that sticks out like a sore thumb is how a team can function like a well oiled machine in every way imaginable...short of finding the net,of course...for 55 minutes then to a man they figure the match is over and settle in to play out the clock for 35 long minutes. I can accept perhaps one or two individuals slacking off but an entire team doing so baffles me,
  1. Chris Sapien
    commented on: September 12, 2012 at 1:52 p.m.
    Well, we got the result and that's what matters! Torres' performance was sufficient, but for those who believe he is the answer, it's going to depend on Bradley's return, and the formation Klinsmann sticks with. The continuing elephant in the room, is the unwillingness of our midfield to go forward and our wing-players not even giving us a hint that they want to take defenders on 1 v 1 !! Where is our American courage and ingenuity out there? I would much rather have players with Shea's bravado and desire to cause havoc for defenders down our wings, than the constant probe and passback, probe and knock it laterally. PLEASE, SOMEONE WORK TO GET FOULED IN DANGEROUS AREAS!! Sorry, lost it there a bit....

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Confidential
One man's Midseason MLS Best XI    
The list of All-Stars was released by MLS on Tuesday and amid the controversy of who ...
Arena goes with experience -- and a few question marks in Gold Cup knockout phase.    
The six players called by Bruce Arena for the Gold Cup quarterfinals and beyond were not ...
USA beats a minnow: the woeful, good and hopeful     
What was the most pathetic moment for the USA in its Gold Cup game on Wednesday? ...
SA Midseason Awards: Nikolic, Paunovic head list of Chicago candidates    
An amazing turnaround in Chicago has the Fire challenging for the Eastern Conference title and Supporters' ...
Bruce Arena went too defensive against Panama    
It's true that the USA has a Panama problem. Los Canaleros are the only team that ...
Midseason kudos to Atlanta, questions for PRO    
A revived Eastern Conference heads the list of midseason trends for the 2017 MLS campaign.
USA proves it has depth -- and cohesion     
One would have been excused for not expecting much from the USA in its friendly against ...
Quakes' Kinnear swept out by new wave as much as poor results    
In explaining his decision to fire Dominic Kinnear, Quakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli said, "I think ...
Thank you, Tony DiCicco    
I've often been told that I am very fortunate to have the job of soccer journalist, ...
VAR problems should not dissuade MLS    
MLS is an ideal testing ground to supply additional data for use of the Video Assistant ...
>> Soccer America Confidential Archives