Good and bad of USA-England game

[USA-ENGLAND]  It will go down as one of the worst goalkeeping blunders in World Cup history. The USA was England's equal for much of the match but had England goalie Robert Green to thank for the gift goal that allowed the USA to earn a 1-1 tie with England in their World Cup match in Rustenburg.

What we liked ...

-- The U.S. central defenders Jay DeMerit and Oguchi Onyewu came up big, shutting down Wayne Rooney. They prevented the England star from getting a decent chance, frustrating him so much that Rooney spent the last part of the game in midfield.

-- The goal Clint Dempsey scored was surely the luckiest of his career, but that shouldn't overshadow the fact he make a nifty move to elude Steven Gerrard, taking several touches, spinning around the England captain and hitting a dipping shot that bounced before it got to Green.

-- Having survived a nasty collision with Emile Heskey in the first half, Tim Howard shone in the second half with several excellent saves.

-- The reaction from the USA was excellent after falling behind. A bit nervous at the start, the Americans grew in confidence as they game went on. While England had its chances late in the game, the Americans never looked to be desperate straits.

What we didn't like ...

-- The USA did exactly what Bob Bradley cautioned against and let England score a goal -- a goal so easy that it seemed to lull the English into believing it would win in a cakewalk. That's exactly how Gerrard scored after the U.S. markers lost their players in the middle of midfield off Glen Johnson's throw-in.

-- Gerrard's goal extended the USA's recent record of conceding early goals at the World Cup. In 1998,  Andreas Moeller scored after eight minutes for Germany in Paris. Four years ago, Jan Koller scored for the Czech Republic after only five minutes.

-- Against a slow and nervous England defense, the USA could have done better with its possession in the first half. The Americans didn't have a threatening shot on goal and had England goalie Robert Green to thank for letting Clint Dempsey's shot slip past him and into the goal.

June 12 in Rustenburg
USA 1 England 1.
Goal: Dempsey 40; Gerrard 4.
USA -- Howard, Cherundolo, Onyewu, DeMerit, Bocanegra, Donovan, Clark, Bradley, Dempsey, Altidore (Holden, 86), Findley (Buddle, 77).
England -- Green, Johnson, Terry, King (Carragher, 46), A.Cole, Lennon, Gerrard, Lampard, Milner (Wright-Phillips, 31), Rooney, Heskey (Crouch, 79).
Yellow Card: USA -- Cherundolo 39, DeMerit 47, Findley 74; England -- Milner 26, Carragher 59, Gerrard 61. 
Referee: Carlos Simon (Brazil).

26 comments about "Good and bad of USA-England game".
  1. Zukisa Qonto, June 12, 2010 at 3:28 p.m.

    Since the retirement of David Seaman the goalkeeping department has been their Achilles heel. If Bradley can introduce the guy who scored a brace against the Australia, then more goals will come. The US defence must push up a bit, they tend to be quite deep.

  2. Tony Waiters, June 12, 2010 at 7:26 p.m.

    Come on, Ridge. Give credit where it is due. 7 out of 10 for Tim Howard? You said he was excellent in all phases of the game, which he was. He had no chance on the goal and did everything else he was asked to even though he wasn't exceptionally busy.

    Minimum 8 out of 10. I would have given him 9.

  3. Joseph Breault, June 12, 2010 at 7:35 p.m.

    Great result for US. Very poor England result. England looked like Italy when they got lead. When the Brits had us on the ropes they should have lowered the hammer, instead they drop back and defend....very lucky for US. No big surprise though....US and England should go through to next stage.

  4. David Sirias, June 12, 2010 at 8:01 p.m.

    The bad? You never mentioned. Rico Clark -- was literally afraid to take the ball And it was Clark way more than anyone else responsible for the goal. And lastly again SA is afraid to criticize the coach. Who again was late subbing despite wave after wave of English attacks after the 60th minute

  5. Gregory Milone, June 12, 2010 at 8:03 p.m.

    I think you are a bit harsh on Onyewu. Merits at least a 6 and possibly a 7 for his tackle on Gerrard. He is pretty eratic with his distribution but he was effective in disrupting anything England floated into the box. Also credit to BB for starting with an attacking formation. He was obviously looking to go at the central English defenders with speed. Too bad they could't exploit it some more. Jozy Altidores run at Carragher was exactly what they needed to do.

  6. Terence Chu, June 12, 2010 at 8:10 p.m.

    As soon as we got that goal and the whistle for the half blew, BB went into his shell and played for the draw. Im not knocking it, and much credit to the US defense for doing an excellent job against an idea-less England, but this strategy isnt likely to work in the knockout stages (as shown in the CC final). Thinking forward, I want to see the same strategy that the US employed after we went down a goal against Turkey in the warm-up game from here on out. The next two games are essentially must-win games, and theres not much room for tentative-ness (?) in the knockout stage.

  7. Mark Simms, June 12, 2010 at 8:18 p.m.

    This is B.S. No one mentioned Josie Altidore's near-goal that luckily went off the post ? That was a lucky save by the goalkeeper. It EASILY could have gone in.
    Real result should have been:
    USA 2
    England 1

  8. Scott O'Connor, June 12, 2010 at 8:21 p.m.

    The US finally got a good result against a European team in an ugly way. Usually, we are the ones left to lick our wounds after some piece of misfortune befalls us (phantom fouls at the top of the box, bad penalty calls, and the ever-present Red Card). For once our guys got the lucky break! Hopefully they won't sleepwalk into the Slovenia game, figuring it's in the bag, and squander this vital point.

  9. Ralph Leftwich, June 12, 2010 at 8:23 p.m.

    Starting Clark over Torres was a mistake from the beginning. Findley over Buddle was only a small mistake. Bob Bradley needs to have someone who can control a game from the midfield and that is Torres.

  10. Charles Stamos, June 12, 2010 at 8:26 p.m.

    The USA did well enough to earn the tie, I'll take that against England; improvement for the next two games is needed; remember, the first round is 3 games - the object is to get to the next round - then it's knock out. An OK start with room to get better. USA, take the point and rest/celebrate tonight, then do your homework tomorrow watching the other opponents, and then, prepare for Slovenia and Algeria. Howard, Bradley, Cherundolo, Altidore all played really well. Clark lost his mark on the goal, no one else was in position to cover for him; everyone had a hand in gaining a tie, whew...

  11. Scott O'Connor, June 12, 2010 at 8:27 p.m.

    Now the obligatory Bob-bashing: 1) Why not get a 3rd sub into the game at the end? At the very least it wastes time. Also, it would allow one of the subs to get a touch or two in a World Cup and be more ready for their next opportunity; 2) I believe that Ricardo Clark offered nothing in this game. Torres would have been able to slow the game down in the second half and maintain some possession for the US rather than just deal with the England onslaught. We were lucky to get the draw, Howard had to make a couple brilliant saves to preserve it. Why leave the outcome to that chance? Why not put some control players in the midfield (JFT, BF) to try to maintain some possession and take the pressure off the defense and GK?

  12. Gus Keri, June 12, 2010 at 8:31 p.m.

    I agree with Scott about he need for the USA not to think it's in the bag. Check my opinion about the game on this post:

  13. Scott O'Connor, June 12, 2010 at 8:31 p.m.

    Hopefully this version of the USMNT will be professional enough to forget this result after tonight and get to work watching their next 2 opponents play each other tomorrow. Then show up ready to put some goal differences on the board. 1 point will not get to the 2nd round. Egypt and Russia probably underestimated these teams as well and look where they are right now......home.

  14. Anthony Pignataro, June 12, 2010 at 9:07 p.m.

    I agree Howard was phenomenal... only gripe... How many times do you have to kick the ball downfield till you realize no one from your team is coming up with it. England had to grab 80% of the balls out of the air that Howard sent down. Would have been better rolling the ball out to Dolo. The last 15 minutes of the game the US really had very little quality passing and if Dolo brought the ball downfield it would have spread the field a little bit. There were times that Bradley and Clark were so close they could shake hands.

  15. David Huff, June 12, 2010 at 10:28 p.m.

    Having Torres over Clark seems to be a no-brainer, likewise replacing Findley who can't finish to save his life with either Gomez or Buddle who can finish would seem appropriate. Then again we are talking about MLS Bob and the coaching mentality that comes with it.

  16. Steven SIegel, June 12, 2010 at 10:49 p.m.

    The key to advancing in the World Cup is growing up as a team while you're there. This is a very good start considering how embarrassing it could have been. BB will probably continue to play Ricardo Clark and mostly stick with his lineup to get these guys minutes together. The US has no clear advantage over the other teams in their group, so I expect difficult matches against Slovenia and Algeria. US had a lot of nice possession in the midfield with some clever play from Bradley, Dempsey, Donovan. They just could not translate that into good opportunities. Findley had that great first touch in the second half, but John Terry has boatloads of experienced and easily bumped him off the ball.
    Baby steps.

  17. Alex Lozano, June 12, 2010 at 10:56 p.m.

    GREAT analysis on the good & the bad and agree 100%. Mostly, I'm proud of my national team...we didn't "cave in" after allowing the early goal & went "toe-to-toe" with England!!

  18. James Madison, June 12, 2010 at 10:59 p.m.

    How about Gomez and Torres in place of Findley and Clark? Does Bradley think there is something un-American about using Hispanic players?

  19. Charles Davenport, June 12, 2010 at 11:01 p.m.

    most obvious gripe: where were the subs, fresh legs? That was Terry running Findley off the ball as if he were a six-year old?

  20. Barb Scoles, June 12, 2010 at 11:50 p.m.

    We should have put more pressure on the back line and the back up keeper.(obviously shaky) England knew they were a little more vulnerable in the back without Ferdinand. US needed to connect more passes out of the middle. Clark struggled and Bradley missed too many passing opportunities. Up side was Rooney's visible frustration and Howard's great play and leadership.

  21. Paul Amato, June 13, 2010 at 1:21 a.m.

    Onyewu had an excellent game. He looked like his old self. Also Cherundolo was incredible. I can't believe that BB would even think about not starting him. I hope we never see Bornstein on the pitch. Findley looked lost, I would have started Buddle and Clark is a waste of space. He was caught ball watching on Gerrard's goal. BB needs to start Torres. Landon was non existent in the game. If Landon doesn't get involved in the game, we won't go far in the WC. Howard had an excellent. As for the rating system, Mahoney can stick it were the sun don't shine. He rarely offers any good insight in any of his articles, wasted space if you ask me.

  22. jack ass, June 13, 2010 at 2:31 a.m.


  23. I w Nowozeniuk, June 13, 2010 at 10:09 a.m.

    England was the better side on the day, not by much...too many balls over the top made no sense, every such delivery did not connect... USA strikers touched the ball maybe twice in the first 15 minutes of the game; that's pathetic!!!...LD had too few touches for the team to motor...IMO, Rooney became isolated because of his teammates not finding him early...USMNT needs a bit more of puposeful play which seems to be elusive...Howard looked terrific and Buddle should get the call to start, Findley has speed, but after that?

  24. Kyr-Roger St.-Denis, June 13, 2010 at 12:41 p.m.

    Hear, hear, Marco Sandoval, who wrote: "give Clint some credit for taking the shot".

    Not only was it a shot, it was a good, powerful shot that hit the turf just before slapping into Green's glove. Yes, blame Green for the 'mistake', but don't take anything away from Dempsey.

  25. Kent James, June 13, 2010 at 5:11 p.m.

    Give credit where credit is due; a 1-1 tie with England in the opening game was a good result for the US, so credit Coach Bradley for getting that; results matter. I like Torres, but against England, with Gerrard and Lampard in the middle, Bradley and Clark generally helped shut them down (Clark was partially to blame on the English goal, but I think it was more Bocanegra who was behind Clark and out wide; Bocanegra should have seen it developing and moved inside to shut it down).
    But the WC is not just one game, so I'd like to see Bradley go with a different midfield set-up against Slovenia and Algeria, neither of which has the size and talent of the English midfield. Perhaps Torres in the defensive role and maybe give Feilhaber some minutes.
    My main frustration with the US approach v. England was the reliance on long balls to our forwards who could not beat the English in the air. That played to the English strength; we should have recognized that and used our smaller, speedier players to get around the English defenders (playing the ball to Donovan on the ground, eg., instead of to Altidore in the air). Bradley should have also made the Holden sub at least 10 minutes earlier (as well as the Gomez sub). But a pretty good start!

  26. Wayne Root, June 14, 2010 at 8:02 p.m.

    Howard should get a 9.5. And, let's see next time what Torres can do.

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