Bornstein sub wasn't Bradley's only coaching error

[USA CONFIDENTIAL] While perusing accounts of Mexico’s scintillating 4-2 triumph in the Gold Cup final Saturday in the Rose Bowl, I read again the assertion that Ghana “upset” the USA in the round of 16 at last summer’s World Cup.

That wasn’t true then and it’s less true now, yet the myth persists. Somehow, a game that the U.S. “could” have won quickly became – thanks to rampant hysteria among press and other observers who should know better – a game the U.S. “should” have won. This is presented as fact, as if all those anointed with an opinion agreed en masse that no way a pesky little African nation could slay the mighty Concacaf Goliath had the coach known what he was doing.

Offered as proof were the dubious selection decisions of Coach Bob Bradley, who sent out midfielder Ricardo Clark and striker Robbie Findley. Clark coughed up a ball in midfield from which Ghana scored its first goal of a 2-1 overtime victory while Findley struggled to make an impact. Both players were eventually substituted, and those choices as well as Ghana’s winning strike early in overtime will haunt Bradley and U.S. Soccer for a very long time.

Yet Ghana also exuded a sharper, stronger, tougher and hungrier determination for much of that match, as well as superior skill throughout its lineup. There’s no guarantee a different U.S. starting lineup would have produced a different result.

Outside the contiguous 48 states – plus Hawaii and Alaska – the consensus opinion is that the winning team deserved to do so.

Those stark facts were revealed again Saturday as Mexico, like the U.S. burdened with fatigue and shorn of several important players, roared back from a 2-0 deficit. For the past decade, for whatever reason, the U.S. has been Mexico’s bogey team, but that stigma is fading quickly. During that decade, Mexico’s record against teams outside Concacaf surpasses that of the USA, which doesn’t dissuade American fans from citing a head-to-head advantage in home matchups and one victory in the 2002 round of 16.

In South Africa, it was defender Jay DeMerit, not Clark nor Findley, who couldn’t keep up with Asamoah Gyan as he powered up the middle to blast the winning goal past keeper Tim Howard. In the Rose Bowl Saturday, even before Steve Cherundolo left the game early with a sprained ankle, Mexico buzzed Howard’s goal. For every delightful touch and clever flick produced by Freddy Adu 2.0, someone in black -- Pablo Barrera, Giovani dos Santos, Javier Hernandez, Andres Guardado -- deked his way into space or wrong-footed an American challenger.

The ideal replacement for Cherundolo, Tim Chandler, wasn’t anywhere near the Rose Bowl. He had reportedly been “advised” by his German club, Nuremberg, to skip the Gold Cup so as not to jeopardize his chances at regular first-team Bundesliga action in the coming season. Lacking that option, Bob Bradley’s choices were few, but moving Eric Lichaj from left back to right back and bringing on Jonathan Bornstein blew up in his face.

What else could he have done? Here’s a few possibilities:

-- Jonathan Spector, chosen partially for “his ability to play anywhere along the back line,” hadn’t set foot on the field in the Gold Cup. Neither had Bornstein, who joined the starting lineup at the World Cup last summer for the Algeria game and played reasonably well. But that was then. Spector sat, Bornstein got the call.

-- In the post-match firestorm, amid much spluttering, some suggested moving Lichaj to right back should have been accompanied by bringing in Tim Ream with Carlos Bocanegra moving to left back. Yet in a group-phase 2-1 loss to Panama, Ream gave away a penalty kick and labored most of the game. If he couldn’t handle Luis Tejada and Blas Perez, why would anybody think he could come in cold off the bench and shut down Barrera, dos Santos, Guardado and Hernandez?

(Oguchi Onyewu, who looked awful in the final pre-Gold Cup friendly against Spain, didn’t play in the tournament and didn’t make the bench for the final. He has played well at times against Mexico, but against eager opponents flying forward and zinging the ball around, he’d probably have been shredded, too.)

-- Maybe Maurice Edu could have been drafted as a center back, with Bocanegra at left back and Lichaj on the right. Edu played center back for the 2008 Olympic team and has been used there occasionally with the national team. He hadn’t played much at the Gold Cup --- 50 minutes in relief of Jermaine Jones, Michael Bradley and Juan Agudelo (in the semi against Jamaica) – but in that brief time he’d been confident and crisp.

(On another point, both Bradley and Jones looked exhausted in the knockout rounds. Both were badly singed by Mexico. Edu played only 31 minutes as their replacements in the Gold Cup.)

-- If Bradley believed his only choice was to move Lichaj and bring on Bornstein, he could have increased the chances of success by moving Landon Donovan to left mid to help out Bornstein and instruct him to defend, harass and chase after scoring to give the U.S.a 2-0 lead. Of all the U.S. attackers, Donovan has the desire and engine to contribute the most defensively.

Halftime would be a chance to work out the new alignments and consider the possibilities for further changes. Instead, by then Mexico had struck twice and despite a 2-2 score had firmly taken over the game. Five minutes into the second half, a terribly inept U.S. defense conceded again, and now Mexico led on the scoreboard as well, 3-2.

Bringing on Agudelo for an overmatched Alejandro Bedoya made sense in theory, but his entrance in the 63rd minute did little to help the U.S. in its most dire predicament, to keep possession and stem Mexico’s momentum. Thirteen minutes later, Mexico scored its second goal of the half to take a 4-2 lead, yet it took Bradley another 10 minutes to get Sacha Kljestan on the field with what was, in effect, a wasted substitution.

The insertion of Kljestan could have done much more to stem the Mexican tide and gain a foothold in midfield than marooning Agudelo up front. No coach can get it right every time with every sub, and Bradley had made some astute choices in this competition. But what’s the value of sitting on a sub when you’re down two goals?

The U.S. wasn’t completely ineffective offensively in the second half. Adu – whose left-footed corner kicks added a valuable weapon and produced a chance for Michael Bradley to head the opening goal -- troubled the Mexicans a few times before he sputtered to a stop, which brought on Kljestan. Clint Dempsey, moved into different positions and scratching to regain his effective play of the opening quarter-hour, clonked a shot off the crossbar with the score, 3-2. Sadly ineffective was Donovan; his inclination is to push the game rather than slow it down, yet amid chaos a player with touch and range and experience can’t drift in and out of the fray.

Perhaps Mexico’s superiority would have won the day regardless, but Bradley – as was the case a year ago against Ghana -- could have done more to give his players a better chance, and more of them needed to step it up.

Also as was the case a year ago, the better team won.

63 comments about "Bornstein sub wasn't Bradley's only coaching error".
  1. Mike Maurer, June 27, 2011 at 2:52 a.m.

    i had a similar thought in bringing on Edu, but to play outside back.

  2. C. Zee, June 27, 2011 at 8:02 a.m.

    Ridge -

    I hope when all the Monday morning analyzing is over, that the American press will DEMAND what every football competitive nations would- the resignation or termination of an unsuccessful coach.

    Bob has run his course the best he could. Fair enough job. But with no meaningful matches until 2014 qualifying, now is the moment to bring in new ideas, fresh faces and give hope to a nation that has begun to embrace the soccer culture.

    I do not wish to tell you how to do your job, Ridge, but the influence you have to keep US Soccer on course is invaluable.

  3. Brent Crossland, June 27, 2011 at 8:29 a.m.

    I totally agree with C Zee. We desperately need a new coach to come in and take a fresh look at available players and tactics. All Bradley is providing is 'variations on a theme'.

  4. Eric Shinn, June 27, 2011 at 8:47 a.m.

    More Bradley mistakes during this tournament: (1) Adu looked like the only truly dangerous player the US had at, where was he the first 5 games? (2) Bornstein should never wear a US jersey unless he buys it from US Soccer like the rest of us. (3) Donovan as a lone forward? Really? Dempsey, sure. But Donovan? (4) Mikey had no business on the field against Mexico, and he showed it. He's a talented kid and has a future, but he was so far outclassed it wasn't even funny. (5) Did I mention Jonathon Bornstein being put into the game to defend Chicharito and Gio Dos Santos? Stop laughing, that really happened! (6) 2-2 at the half, ALL the momentum going to Mexico, and you don't change tactics or personnel? Really?

  5. Eamon Callahan, June 27, 2011 at 8:51 a.m.

    Look at the cupboard, especially in the back. What were these great options he could have chosen from ?

    Benny and Stu could have helped alot.

    What world class is going to come in and work miracles with this player pool?

    Be realistic.

  6. Luis Arreola, June 27, 2011 at 9:48 a.m.

    Get rid of everyone in charge of youth soccer and completely changevthe system. Lets take out the money making in youth soccer and lets get the true talent to the big stage that usually can't pay for youthvsoccer prices.Bradley did what he could pretty much with what he had. USA never really underachieved with this player pool. The player pool. There the problem. This is what can be fixed.

  7. Stuart d. Warner, June 27, 2011 at 9:56 a.m.

    Once the US was up 2-0, especially with Cherundolo hurt, Bradley should have flip-flopped Donovan and Dempsey: Donovan marks back well and Dempsey rarely marks back. Secondly, Bornstein was even a greater mistake than Clark in the WC against Ghana: at least Clark had played in the tournament. Bornstein is a good domestic player, but he has gotten crushed many times against the better offensive teams on the international stage. It's one thing to bring Adu in, an offensive midfielder, in a big game--because whatever mistakes he might make are likely less lethal than when made by a fullback. Bornstein was terrible on three of Mexico's four goals: no sense of urgency and always several steps late. Edu had played in the tournament, he had played regularly for Rangers, he should have gone in central defense and moved Bocanegra out wide. Would this have worked? Maybe not--but you don't stick a weak defender who has not played a meaningful game in a long time into a final against a big-time opponent. But if you do, and you then see he's not ready (just look at the first goal--simply dreadful), and lift him and try something else. As a final comment, in terms of tactics, when we have Dempsey and Donovan play wide, the team has no width whatsover. Has Dempsey ever played wide and crossed a ball in? I've never seen it. And even though Donovan has a terrific cross, he's rarely very wide.

  8. Walt Pericciuoli, June 27, 2011 at 10:01 a.m.

    I do agree that Mexico was the better team on the day and through the tournament. I didn't expect much out of this match but ....USA had a chance to steal a win and could not find a way to do it and I blame the tactical decisions made during the game as the cause.The injury to Cherundolo was magnified by the poor decision to change two players instead of one. Lihjac to right side and Bornstein in to play the left.Bornstein has never shown that he is capable at playing at this level. Spector, has played right back before, not always brillantly, but I think he would have been the better choice and would have kept the back four more intact. Also, Jones and Bradley appeared worn down almost from the opening whistle.Perhaps Edu should have been given a start and then Jones or Bradley could have subbed for each other.Bedoya chugged on the best he could, but should have ben subbed out for Kljestan much sooner. I did like the interchanging of Donovan and Dempsey. It confused the Mexican defense and left Adu more space and time to create. I also liked Bradley's choice to start Adu. What a suprise until he too tired out. How bad has he been in training that he couldn't find the field before the next to last match in the tournament?In the end,nothing new here. Bradley once again proved that he and the entire US staff responsible for our National team programs must be replaced as soon as possible. Our teams at every age level look the same, so predictable and by the way, without any success at any level outside of CONCACAF.

  9. F. Kirk Malloy, June 27, 2011 at 10:07 a.m.

    The US MNT is hardworking, fit, organized (usually, Mexico game aside), reliable, competitive and tough...just like its coach. Sorry, that doesn't cut it. BRADLEY HAS TO GO if we're going to reach for the top 10, nevermind go for the Cup. We need flair, surprise, speed of play, creativity, menace up front, and a new coach to instill those qualities and find/attract the talent.

    There are some players who could start on a competing side (Donovan, Dempsey, Cherundolo, Adu (yes, Adu; we should see A LOT more of him), Holden (please get healthy), Howard). That's about it right now. Others show promise (Agudelo, Bradley, Torres, Davies, Ream, Bedoya (stop holding the ball every time!)) and others should have roster spots (Bocanegra, Kljestan, Edu, Altidore, Goodsen, Feilhaber).

    We're not miles away, and a world class coach with real authority to recruit and select could get us there in 10 years, but staying with Bradley means good (see above), but never great.

  10. Kent James, June 27, 2011 at 10:13 a.m.

    Ridge, you're right; Edu should have played more in the midfield, and asking Donovan to play more defense , would have been wise (in retrospect, after going up 2-0, maybe Donovan should have been moved to left back??). Although the Bornstein sub proved disastrous, it was not obvious that it would be (since Bornstein's the fastest option we had off the bench and the Mexican forwards were clearly to quick for our defense), especially if Lichaj plays right back for his club (I thought you mentioned that in an earlier article). Ream should not be written off; he certainly played poorly against Panama, but his distribution out of the back is much better than any other back we have, and I think he's a better 1 v 1 defender when the ball is on the ground than Goodson, whose height hurts his quickness (though he is excellent in the air). The bottom line is that I don't think the best coach in the world would have helped the US beat Mexico the way Mexico played; Mexico was the better team and they showed it. That doesn't make them unbeatable; they now have the upper hand, but if we get some of our more skilled players back (Holden, Feilhaber, Torres), we should be able to challenge them. US soccer needs to focus on developing more skillful, quicker players, so that the US national team has better options. Firing Bradley may symbolically show that the US is not satisfied with being behind Mexico, but a new coach will not guarantee we'll overtake them either.

  11. Tito Messi, June 27, 2011 at 10:19 a.m.

    As always, Bob Bradley did it again....but lets also blame Tim Howard in goal, he was awful, looked like a high school keeper at his worst, at least 2 of the goals were totally his fault. If Tim Chandler decided not to play for the US because his German club told him he "might get hurt" in jeopardize his chances at starting next fall, that sucks...every player should play for country first, club second, especially for a BIG event such as the Gold Cup, World Cup qualifying round and the World Cup finals....shame on the German club and Tim Chandler, I hope he never gets a call again from the National team! Bob Bradley should have taking Jones and his son out of the lineup, both were exhausted from playing 5 prior games...Edu should have started, defensively, he should have taken a chance with Tim Ream (every color commentator in the US thinks he is the next Marcelo Balboa...but he'll never be Balboa), because at least he is better than Bornstein. Bob Bradley should have played defensively behind the midfield line after their second goal, close every space possible and counter the Mexicans, but he decided to play Mexico up and down, it worked for the first 20 minutes, but it wouldn't work for 90 minutes....if they frustrate the Mexicans while leading 2-0, the score could have easily been 5-0 if they counter them...because the mexicans would have been frustrated and possibly commit stupid reckless fouls and possibly would have finised the game with 9 players....BRADLEY MUST GO!!!!

  12. Walt Pericciuoli, June 27, 2011 at 10:23 a.m.

    Firing coach is not enough. Entire US Staff must be replaced with a Staff that has fresh ideas and are willing to look for and develop quick creative players in order to play a more attractive style.Training methods must be changed all across the country.Youth clubs must be encouraged to find and develop cretiveI beleive the US fan is ready accept losses if we can be hopeful of the future and if we can enjoy watching our team.

  13. Walt Pericciuoli, June 27, 2011 at 10:29 a.m.

    Sorry, to just finish my thoughts, Youth clubs must be encouraged ($) to find and develop players that show flair and creativity. Super Clubs must be willing to change their staff as well.They need to begin new training methods all the way down to the U9 and U10 levels all across the country.

  14. Amos Annan, June 27, 2011 at 10:36 a.m.

    How is coming in 2ND place a "failure" ?

    Maybe you can find a better coach and 2nd guess everything he does again, but the bottom line is you got to have the talent.

    Believe Bob Bradley did the best he could with the team he had to get them to the final.

    Is the only measure of a good coach winning everything?

  15. Ernest Irelan, June 27, 2011 at 10:38 a.m.

    any suggestions for a new coach?..

  16. Amos Annan, June 27, 2011 at 10:38 a.m.

    The difference in the final game was Mexico's dos Santos. He took over and won the game by himself.

    Without dos Santos, USA wins the game.

  17. cony konstin, June 27, 2011 at 10:43 a.m.

    Before anyone gets fired from coaching to bring in a super super super international national coach. The USA needs a soccer REVOLUTION!!!!! This REVOLUTION must begin in the inner cities of America. We need to bring in Perkerman to reorganize our youth national teams. We need to bring in Bianchi to work with our MLS coaches. We need to bring in Ciro Medrano to help with developing our youth players from age 3 thru 14. We need to bring in Javier Lozano to help us develop our national youth and pro futsal program. We need to start to think out of the box. The $250 soccer shoes, numerous soccer camps and tournaments, pretty uniforms, average athletes, are not going to help soccer grow in the USA. WE NEED MAGIGAL PLAYERS. We need radical thinkers to help us change our ways. The people I mentioned above are the best at what they do. By Bring these topnotch people to work with our people and create a 7 day a week, no cost, free play environment in the inner cities of America, then we have a fighting chance to elevate our game to a higher level. Continue the same path we will be ok but that is it OK. If the US wants to be excellent then we must strive towards excellence and not continue to beat the drum of status quo. Bradeley in not the problem. The problem is our SYSTEM. Our system needs a REVOLUTION today and not 20 years from now.

  18. cony konstin, June 27, 2011 at 10:54 a.m.

    I propose that Soccer America and US Soccer establish an emergency symposium to brainstorm the radical changes that US Soccer is starving for. Bring together the most radical soccer minds that are out there and have them create a new mantra, a new way, a new philosophy, a new style, a new SYSTEM for US Soccer. This must be done ASAP.

  19. Amos Annan, June 27, 2011 at 11:01 a.m.

    Revolution? There are no easy solutions...
    Until you have more kids playing soccer in the streets instead of basketball, football, and baseball, soccer in America will lag behind. It is a slow process of improving the sport over time. The rest of the world has a 100 year head start.

  20. Amos Annan, June 27, 2011 at 11:04 a.m.

    Also, this "new philosophy", "new style" and "new system" is something that all the people involved will never reach an agreement on. It is all about the money... whatever creates the most profit will win.

  21. Tom Matlack, June 27, 2011 at 11:09 a.m.

    Cony and Amos are right. American toddlers, both male and female, are taught to receive, control, and release balls/objects with their hands. This builds that muscle memory/instinct eye-hand coordination. The rest of the world teaches eye-foot coordination. In international play, that is why our guys/gals are always half step/half trap/half pass away from glory.

    Our sports, basket/foot/baseball, lend themselves better to defense/goalkeeping. We are adequate in those departments. We need on the ball skill, creativity, vision, possession, finishing, accurate long range snap shots, and quicker, not faster players.

    It isn't so much coaching; it is the pool of talent we produce to coach.


  22. Carlos Balnco, June 27, 2011 at 11:09 a.m.

    I see here a lot of blaming for the US players here, but no recognition to the Mexicans. Mexico was just too much for the US this time. Tim Howard looked like a high school keeper? Then, also did the other 3 US defenders that Dos Santos outclassed. I think, Dos Santos looked like a crack here. Dos Santos actually did that same play twice, the first time Howard blocked the ball though. Changing Lichaj to the other side was a mistake because Barrera scored twice? Then, I think, Guardado would've scored them instead. Just like in the game against Costa Rica. Those two Guardado's goals were even classier. Ask the Costa Ricans. I think that's what Bradley was thinking about when he made that change. The US defense played bad this time because the offense they had in front was quicker, had more skills and better ideas. They were using the whole field, middle and both sides, to score goals. And guess what? they got 4.

  23. cony konstin, June 27, 2011 at 11:14 a.m.

    Carlos we now the Mexicans individually are a lot more magical then our players are. The question is how do we develop in having our players as magical or even more magical then the Mexican players? I will repeat this again. REVOLUCION!!!!!!!!!

  24. Walt Pericciuoli, June 27, 2011 at 11:18 a.m.

    Cony and Amos you are both right on. Also correct about the money. As long as there is money to made with this system, nothing will change. To bring in bold new thinkers we must be willing to spend money in soccer not profit from it,otherwise nothng will change. But who is responsible for making the changes? There is where the real problem lies.

  25. Walt Pericciuoli, June 27, 2011 at 11:20 a.m.

    Carlos, I admire the Mexican team. I wish we were more like them.

  26. Carlos Balnco, June 27, 2011 at 11:37 a.m.

    I think it's been said what needs to be done. The US team needs more players. It must increase the competitiveness of its league. I actually think that the US soccer org is doing pretty good at this. They have improved the sport a lot in this 20 years. The US was practically nobody before the 94 World Cup. It's now fighting for its confederation title and are among the 25 teams in the world. That's a great achievement.

  27. beautiful game, June 27, 2011 at 12:13 p.m.

    F.K. Malloy has some good ideas...yet, we are miles away as far as quality is concerned, as far as simplicity and efficacy are concerned, as far as individual/team support is concerned...we are more than a mile away when it comes to a steady performance over the 90 minutes when in fact we are only capable for stretches which amount to about 20 minutes...there is no leadership on the squad and it appears that the leadership from the coach has no meaning...we are miles away in developing quality players, those that perform consistently and not fade in and out of the game.

  28. Raffy Afarian, June 27, 2011 at 12:16 p.m.

    In anything, if you want to learn to do something better then you see who is doing it successfully and see if you can learn from them. Having said that, the best brand of soccer being played around the world at all levels are either in Spain or in Brazil. Why wouldn't we get off our high horses and stop being arrogant Americans and ask for help from those two countries to revamp our system here.
    We have plenty of talented kids here that do grow up playing soccer starting at 1 year old. The problem is that the coaches don't appreciate the right kind of talent. All they look for is speed, strength,size and aggression like Altidore, the stereotypical US player. We need to wake up and see that it's not speed in soccer that kills, it's quickness and vision. Let's do what Barcelona does. How can we go wrong with that?

  29. Alberto Mora, June 27, 2011 at 12:20 p.m.

    Coaching soccer is a job that requires a deep knowledge of the game, here in the US this job has not been take it seriously yet. When we look the record of the coaches that work with the National Team since 1990 when Bora set the guidelines to follow at that level the USSF was reluctant to continue them and they concluded that the best man for the job was Steve Sampson and that was the first big mistake.
    USSf still doesn't accept that many of the players of the National Team have been exposed to real professional coaches when they are part of international clubs and they need the same level of coaching.
    The domestic player needs an strong foudation and real coaches, I see across the country the "parent-coach" that doesn't have a clue about the game,
    we need at least 12 years of foreing coaching for the National Team and a real Coaching shool, the current National Coaching School is a "joke" giving the licenses like "hot cakes" and no substance.

  30. Bret Newman, June 27, 2011 at 12:32 p.m.

    We don't need a foreign coach. Let's go with Jason Kreis! He has Real Salt Lake playing great soccer. He has his team emulating Barca/Spain style of play.

  31. cony konstin, June 27, 2011 at 12:46 p.m.

    Our 5 to 10 years old are receiving a disservice. Why? Because we have parents who are wonderful volunteers but have no clue in transmitting technical mechanics to our kids. It is like sending kids to school for 5 years and just throwing pencils off the their foreheads while teaching them nothing. Suburbian soccer is a total diservice and should be abolish immediately. In its place either bring in pros who actually know how to develop young kids. Opps I forgot there are no pros in the US who know how to develop 5 to 10 years old. Because if we did we would have some real fine technical players on our national team. Dempsy and Donavan developed most of their skills on their own. They did not grow up in a system starting at age 5 where they trained 5 days a week till the age of 10. Or maybe we should start to do what I have been proposing that we do in the inner cities of America and that is create free play areas for suburbian soccer kids. Lets build futsal courts all over America so all the kids have a chance to become passionate about the game and eventually become magical players as well. It is time for America to wake up and stop drinking the low dosages of Jonestown koolaide. Again I repeat myself. REVOLUCION!!!!!!! FIFA'S New Mantra is Futsal is part of Football. It is time for us to embrass this mantra.

  32. David Huff, June 27, 2011 at 1:07 p.m.

    This was clearly the most important match for the USMNT in 2011 given its significance in qualifying for the Confederations Cup in 2013 and that a highly motivated rivalry opponent was involved (it doesn't get better in CONCACAF than USA vs. Mexico). This caliber of game is the one you want/expect the USMNT to win in showing that they are capable of taking on world-class competition at WC 2014. This game outcome should be treated as a referendum on Bob Bradley. We lost with our 'A' team, despite obtaining a fortuitous 2-0 lead then allowing 4 consecutive goals to be scored against us, a team that was unable to maintain any semblance of possession through skillful passing. I can't tell you how many times that I saw Bradley Jr. give the ball away, including at the very beginning of the match before the one highlight of his game where he scored a header goal (if not for that goal a '1' player rating would have been well-deserved). At this point, a manager change is clearly in order and there is certainly sufficient time for the replacement manager to have the team ready for WC 2014. Hiddink is now available and should be considered if either Klinsmann or La Volpe cannot be obtained. In addition to removing Bradley, we need to uproot the insidious influence of Brit-based football on our youth nationals, ODP and even senior teams where big, strong athletes who play physical 'kickball' are emphasized and promoted over our more technically skilled and gifted players. The UK 'stuck-in' approach to football has not done them any good in terms of WC sucess (unless you count the aberration of 1966 where they were the host and were gifted a goal against West Germany). This Brit influence can be seen on the USSF Board as well as at the state-level of ODP programs. Why is this failed influence allowed to continue? It is due to the lucrative $$ that exist in the current youth club structure, there is a lot of money that can be made from offering trainers and camps who are 'foreign' yet speak English to the comfort of Suburban America. A sea change is required where Barca's La Masia academy appoach for advanced players and the youth systems used in Argentina, Spain and Brasil can be used as role models for the improvement of our game at the grass roots level. Change starts now with the removal of Bradley.

  33. David Sirias, June 27, 2011 at 1:19 p.m.

    Ridge. Your criticisms of the coach are appreciated. But don't stop there. Demand a change! It's time. The longer this goes on ( bob that is) the greater the credibility loss of the Main steam soccer press, which includes SA The USA may not make it to brazil with Bob ........when there should be no doubts. That is the imminent crisis.

    The issues with player development are another chapter

  34. F. Kirk Malloy, June 27, 2011 at 1:21 p.m.

    A lot of good comments pouring out, so US Soccer really has come a long way! At least there's something to care about. Of course coaching can only take the talent so far. Re training and player selection, USMNT needs to insist on better training at the youth level and provide the leadership and support ($'s) necessary to achieve it. Claudio Reyna's curriculum is an excellent start. The trick of course is to get the coaches of the U-6 to U-14's educated and on board and to focus on player development not winning the "big" tournament coming up every other weekend. Should USYS/USCS insist on coaching certificates so that the youth coaches at least are introduced to the age-appropriate curriculum and have basic training? Re player selection, big and fast need to be pushed way down the ladder of importance. Look at Barca or the Spanish national team? They're about as big and fast as your average US high school team! But they have raised the game to new heights and speed by playing the right way: fantastic first touch, quick (feet and minds), clever, connected, synchronized chaos, unselfish scoring. Heck their back line is better attacking than our front line! That's where we need to go, and starting at the top Bradley, who should be commended for making us good, can't get us there.
    PS. Forgot Lichaj, who is at least promising and certainly should be on the roster.

  35. Andrew Post, June 27, 2011 at 1:33 p.m.

    We can call for bradley's resignation or fireing but the reality is Sunil Gelati and the rest of the US Soccer federation are all about control and they can control bb. You put in a good coach who demands complete control over selection and personel and you will have a clash of ego's.
    Why get so mad and frustrated at the lack of results from the USMNT and the poor decision making from a MLS coach? We expect bradley to make these types of decisions and the direction the USMNT is going is expected from a terrible international coach.
    Bradley does not have what it takes at this level to place the right personel on the field nor does he understand how to make the correct changes at half time.
    THere is too much favoritism going on with bob and his son and other MLS players( Kljestan, Bornstient).

  36. Andrew Post, June 27, 2011 at 1:34 p.m.


  37. Paul Castillo, June 27, 2011 at 1:35 p.m.

    The good news. We have lots of inner-city kids playing soccer. The bad news. They call it futbol and dream about playing in Mexico. As pointed out by Raffy, the prototypical American player (strength,size and aggression) is not the inner-city player. At least not today. So by inner-city, we must mean African-American, Asian, etc, etc. Being in the event business and having kids that play suburban club soccer I suspect that its because soccer is seen as slow, little opportunity for individual glory, too formatted, etc, etc, etc. So it seems to me that we can either (a) try hard as hell to bring these inner-city kids to the already constructed suburban leagues or (b) find the best parts of the game and use those to sell to the inner-city kids. 11v11 won't do that. Futsal, 3v3, beach soccer, etc is primed for that. It's fast, fun and begs for creativity.

    So as we decontruct the USMNT and hopefully see a U-Haul truck backing up to Uncle Bob's office . . . Let's sell those pieces of the game that speak to the inner-city culture and yearnings. Futsal, 3v3, beach soccer, etc, play to that. Its a small start . . . but it plays.

    Joga Bonito yall.

  38. Anna marie Dwyer, June 27, 2011 at 1:38 p.m.

    Everyone has made great points as to what went wrong but the point I'd like to make is this -
    "We have to take it up another level," said U.S. attacker Landon Donovan. "In these games we want to even things out a little more and not have them (Mexico) have the possession the whole time.
    Ya think???? It's this 'we need to do better next time' attitude that hurts the team. What about 'we're going to work our butts off so that this doesn't happen again'? And then do it. I saw where Bradley is working on a more possesive game. Working on? What's he been doing all of these years - guessing at his job? There are players out there who would give their right arm to be able to play for the national team but will not because they didn't go to Bradenton. They won't because they didn't attend ODP so no national coaches know their name. They'll never get the chance to show what they're made of because they don't have the right connections. That's something that USSoccer needs to work on. But it really galls me when you have someone of Donovan's caliber who makes excuses -after the Jamaica loss he said 'we were flat' - these fellows are professionals. They can't afford to be 'flat'. Tim Howard said 'we really hit them hard with the first two goals'. Apparently it wasn't hard enough to blow the wind out of their sails - it only made them more determined. Can the same be said of the US players? On an individual level did they think they had the game in the bag after the 2nd goal? The players need to change their poor attitudes if you want to change the mindset of the team.

  39. david caldwell, June 27, 2011 at 1:48 p.m.

    The Bradley critics seem to assume that other managers are perfect. I agree that he has made tactical errors. And maybe a world class (Klinsman) manager could inspire the team more. However, all that really matters is whether or not Bradley's tactical moves in a match are better than the opposition. And, looking at the tournament as a whole, I'd say Bradley's moves were superior to his opponents. Manager is not a serious deficiency, compared to other national teams. We have bigger fish to fry.

    Yes, it'd be nice to have an inspiring genius at the helm. If one of those comes along, sign me up. Until then, Bradley is a smart, solid manager whom I support.

    As for USSoccer on the whole, I like seeing that we're more dangerous in attack, more creative. We're better about getting the ball off our feet, thinking quicker. What we lack is speed and quality in defense, and we're always searching for a star at striker. Like everyone I know we need to see more quality young stars. The younger players need to progress more with their clubs - like Dempsey and Stu Holden did in the EPL this year. Too few of those rising at the club level.

    I believe Adu and Aguedolo are the real deal - they need to get off the bench of their current teams, then on the score sheet, then on to top-level Champions league clubs. That needs to happen this year. Then their development should be rapid, and the national team will benefit. It's not complicated.

    We're lacking that sort of spark on the backline. Ream is still very young. Need the pool to get a lot better there. More depth, more competition at key positions will make matches like Mexico not seem so "inevitable."

  40. ckg beautiful game, June 27, 2011 at 2:22 p.m.

    Give Mexico credit, are you kidding me? They are the reverse of us, the only thing that saved them was the injury to their aging center back, Marquez. He was a liabilty just like Bocanegra. When he went off they were a little more solid but still weak definsively. 90 % of the teams in the world would not have lost going up 2-0. Nor should have we, regardless of who was better. It could easily been 3-0, but it wasn't. If Mexico was Barca & we were Real, (which is not the case exactly) but for comparison, remember how the Special One, changed strategies clogged things up, countered, fouled and eventually won the copa del rey. He gave his team a chance.
    We should have won the game, Bradley & the squad deserve equal blame. We were playing a 4-2-4 with a 2 goal lead? How do you do such a thing.

  41. David Sirias, June 27, 2011 at 2:48 p.m.

    D Caldwell This is for you, because you seem to represent the Federation establishment's likely position: Bob is adequate, even the star coaches make mistakes. NO! And hell No! This is much bigger. Bob is no longer adequate. His luck has run out. In 09' Bob used Davies because of Ching's injury. He used DeMerit because of Boca's injury. Those two were the reasons 09' was semi successful. He used Freddy Adu in this GC at the end only out of desperation. If Freddy had failed, we would go back to the double 6/twin destroyer no central creator non-attack that even the minnows in Concacaf are ready for now. I need say nothing more than Bornstein and Rogers. Repeat-- Bornstein and Rogers. They were actually on this year's roster. This is about a manager who plays favorites over anything else. If I have to explain more, then you are incapable of understanding what most fans are livid about. This is not about a loss to Mexico or Panama. (Even Spain and Brazil lose occassionally.) This is about a manager who has done as much as he can and is now out of his depth, and hence, the program is in danger of not making the WC '14-- which would be a disaster. Kreis, Kinnear, almost any MlS coach would bring a fresh set of eyes, badly needed now, and work for relative peanuts. Houston, we really do have a problem.

  42. cony konstin, June 27, 2011 at 3:23 p.m.

    In the end players when championships not coaches.

  43. Luis Arreola, June 27, 2011 at 4:01 p.m.

    Clark, you could be right about the Usa should have won but the 2-0 lead was too early in the game. Had the USA defended more right after 2-0 lead I think Mexico would have at least scored once before halftime. That would have given Mexico momentum going into 2nd half where they would have scored at least 2. Mexico's defense did not look great. I agree. The problem with you're Barca vs RM analogy is that talent wise they are pretty close. Not even close between Mexico a d USA. Also while RM did beat Barca in Cops del Rey Barca will win 80-90% of the time because they are clearly the better team. Had Mexico lost or tied after regulation it would have still been clear that Mexico was the better team since the opening minutes with Mexico shooting on goal Evey 5 minutes to USA 3;4 total in 1st half.

  44. James Froehlich, June 27, 2011 at 4:04 p.m.

    Reading these posts is truly depressing!! We have one group, headed by Amos A. who thinks that BB is acceptable and the player pool sucks but he has no recommendation other than to let time cure all of our problems. Then we have another group who thinks that a better tactician would quickly move us into the upper tiers of world soccer. Finally we have the really big idea people headed by Cony Constin. It's actually a great idea and needs to be funded but it provides no real path for skilled players unless the US soccer culture is changed also. Then of course we have the guy with the really great idea, ME, of course!!! First, I would agree with the "long term thinkers" in that MERELY eliminating BB is not a solution. It is however part of the solution because BB represents everything wrong with US Soccer coaching and player development. (Arena and Sampson were just slightly better and slightly worse options) Secondly, we need to bring in an international coach with some large "cohones" because he will have to fight the coaching establishment every step of the way. Third, and most importantly, the new coach will need to be the "voice of change". That means that he will need to openly and repeatedly call for changes in how coaches are trained, how club teams are trained and selected, and how ODP and National Team players are trained and selected. In this he will need to lead by example by selecting skilled players and promising them a new style of US soccer. He will also need to make it his media mantra, whenever he is interviewed on TV that he is upfront about the lack of skillful US players. (If you listened only to BB you would assume that our player pool is satisfactory since he has never talked about a lack of skills in our players. Remember he's loyal) Finally, and MOST DIFFICULT,he will need to make US Soccer and the US fan base understand that initially, the NEW BRAND OF SOCCER, will not necessarily bring wins immediately. This will take longer than one coach's term. However, the changeover will always be painful, so let it start now!! ---- POTENTIAL ARGUMENTS: (1)The MNT coach doesn't have the time to improve the player pool! Bull!!! We aren't talking about running classes we are talking about giving a verbal kick in the pants to anyone who is coaching youth players. This is not time consuming! It's merely sending a consistent message that the types of players that have been considered superior ARE NOT.(2) Soccer will never get the best US athletes because of football, baseball, and basketball!!! Bull !!! As someone mentioned above, Xavi is not your classical great athlete, nor is Messi, or Iniesta. Take a real hard look at the professional players in our top sports and ask yourself if they fit the mold of the great soccer players??? And now let us pray that US Soccer finally does something for soccer instead of themselves!!!!!!!!

  45. Andrew Post, June 27, 2011 at 4:06 p.m.

    David Caldwell- What are you smoking? you just said that bradley made tactical moves that were far supiorior than his apponents! Yes you just said that about the first USNMT coach to lose a Gold Cup group play match. You are talking about the same coach that had to sub for a right fullback but then continued to shift two postions!
    That comment is spoken like a true novice of the game. A person that knows nothing about strategy and formations.
    The US players don't need to "try harder" or play at a higher level. The truth is bob bradley will not sub weak links such as his son, and can never find a formaiton that works. He is constantly changing formations.
    The tactical decisions he makes are as bad as some of the lineups he puts on the field. What good has he done in the past 2 years?
    And for the RECORD RIDGE, the Ghana game was an upset! look at the FIFA world standings! Also to be two goals up in a game should mean you make tactical dicsions that ensure the win. They gave up the lead in less than 20 minutes.
    RIdge did you ever play or coach the game? How did you get in your position to comment on soccer? You are bob are in the same boat. You both belong in the MLS or college ranks.

  46. Raffy Afarian, June 27, 2011 at 4:09 p.m.

    Cony, it's true that players win championships but the only problem I have with your statement is that the coaches need to put the "right" players on the field to win championships. The best coaches can't make the wrong players win championships.

  47. Andrew Post, June 27, 2011 at 4:12 p.m.

    James- I agree it will take some time for change. I disagree about our talent pool. Never before have we had so many US players playing for big European squads. We have talent and we can see young talent on the horizan( Chandler, Lichaj, Adu, Altidor, Agudelo , Torres, etc...)
    Changig the coach and his classic american mentalitly would go a long way. You can always tell when the players are behind their coach because the go our of their way to play for him and defend him bitterly. This is not the case. Bradley has lost support with fans and players alike.
    We need an international coach who can bring the European or South American game to our way of thinking.
    We have talent just no leadership. Never underestimate a good leader with great vision and wisdom.

  48. Tim Schum, June 27, 2011 at 4:31 p.m.

    Couple of thoughts as watched match on tv (Note that we don't see all the field so perhaps these comments can be challenged:
    1. First Mexico goal (on a long counter) appeared to find our two CBs square with one another. One should have challenged the ball; the other covered the space behind. As I viewed it they were split and by the time one defender reacted (Goodson/Bocanegra?) he was unable to get goal side of the attacker and help Howard cut down the angle. Neither CB had the physical or technical speed to match up with the Mexican forwards. That first Mexican goal changed the whole tenor of the match;
    2. I believe the second Mexican goal again found our first defender in a non-goalside position. It is impossible to defend when one finds that happening. But let's give Mexico credit. Their speed of play (one and two touch soccer) makes it hard for average defenders not to get caught ball-watching against superior technical attackers. I saw a lot of ball-watching by our players;
    3. Jones is a waste of time. He appears to think that because he plays in the EPL that allows him to take chances with the ball and lose it in very vulnerable places on the field. He is very average technically. Further he appears to be a "hard man." Sooner or later those type players get red-carded, cause problems. When he threw his jersey down earlier in the tournament Bradley should have dismissed him from the team. Too bad Holden in injured. If he wasn't, Jones would not have seen the light of day.
    4. On the final Mexican goal, I saw Jones run past the Mexican player who Howard was trying to corral. Why run past him? Double team the rascal. Seemed like a really poor decision on Jones' part? 4-2 the game is over; 3-2 we still are in it.
    There is no sense jumping all over Bradley. It was a tough environment, he doesn't have many alternatives defensively (at least at the moment). It is almost like rolling dice when he substitutes. Will the sub play like he did a game ago or as he did in training prior to the game (think Adu here; who would have predicated that suddenly he would appear to pull it all together in this tournament?) Or will the player not measure up and thus leave others to second guess the coach's tactical move? Seems to one observer that there weren't a lot of good alternative to call on by Coach Bradley. Tim Schum

  49. Andrew Post, June 27, 2011 at 5:30 p.m.

    TIM- the fact that you said J. Jones is a waste of time makes all your comments a waist of time! You think that every player must fit into a certian category. Jones is a physical defender who has proven himself with two good European squads. The fact that you don't like his play doesn't change that he's a good player. Defesive mids must be tough and willing to win balls. That means being physical. Usually the defensive mid picks up more fouls than many other players because of the type of job he is required to do. Jones had a bad game, but so did 10 other guys on the field. Howard didn't make any great saves, in fact he ball watched the 1st goal go in.
    I suppose you think m. bradley had a great game because he scored? Watch the game again and you will see how many times he loses the ball and is found lost and out of position.
    Yes! B. Bradley sit Maruice Edu most games to my amazement. M. Edu plays for that insignificant club Rangers in scotland. Maybe you have heard of them, they are not bad. They just one their 3rd strait SPL title. Edu plays defensive mid for Rangers. But since bob loves his son, Edu doesn't get playing time.
    Tim, get your head our of you arse and realize the problem is not with the players but rather the coach. We have less than desirable players on the field under bradley (ie. m. bradley, kljestan).
    You must be a moron to think that the problem is that bradley doesn't have the players to call on! You are very ignorant to think that. You forget, or maybe you havn't followed US soccer that long, that the 2006 WC saw us advance to the final 8 teams.
    Under bb we will be lucky to qualify for the next WC.

  50. David Sirias, June 27, 2011 at 6:13 p.m.

    Hmmm Bradley and Jones struggled. Let's see. Guess who played virtually all game the previous Saturday followed 72 hours later on Tues against Panama again? Oh, Bradekly and Jones.

    If Bob could not trust Edu( SPL starter ) and Spector ( EPL semi-regular in the midfield the past 5 months) to run the show against Guadaloupe ( freakin Guadaloupe!) why bring these guys at all? Why?

    Junior and Jones were done/gassed/no mas by halftime against Mexico. The whole world could see. They are better than they showed. But oh Bob--- way to set up your own kid and the purported German import midfield savior to fail.

    Terrible/atrocious/ malfeasance type tournament roster management did in the USA again. Just like the Confederations Cup. Just like the World Cup.

    With respect to midfield possession, against most foes we face, the future is Freddy as creator, Torres as possession mid, Holden as Box to Box, and one of Edu/Jones as true destroyer. ( Sorry, Junior is not the best in the pool at any of these jobs. He is serviceable as a fill in anywhere ..... but from the bench) Any coach with vision can see this. Bob cannot because he is biased. Not even nepotism anymore. He just can't see the forest from the trees anymore. This is why Bob needs to go. Possession, at least some, is necessary in the modern game, even against teams superior to yours.

  51. George Harrison (Jr.), June 27, 2011 at 6:45 p.m.

    Wow... lots of comments! At least all the posters here are looking at and thinking about what has happened, and what should happen to improve the situation, regardless of whether we all agree or not these types of discussions/arguments are good and potentially helpful.
    As for my own thoughts, I strongly feel that there should be a coaching change. USA men's basketball definitely did and look at their results. I would argue that keeping Mr. Bradley around meets the oft stated definiton of insanity... "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome"... Who should replace him? Everyone has an opinion, I just think it needs to be the very best that we can find... wherever he comes from...
    Anyway, good comments from all and great discussion, keep it up... ;o)

  52. David Huff, June 27, 2011 at 7:21 p.m.

    Last year Argentina got rid of their Maradona, France got rid of their Domenech, Mexico got rid of their Aguirre, isn't it time for the US to get rid of their Bradley before it's too late for WC2014? We have already paid a price under Bradley in that we failed to qualify to play in the Confederations Cup in Brasil 2013, is the US that stupid and inferior that it will continue to keep Bradley around?!? Is protecting MLS interests at all costs worth it? Amazing . . .

  53. cony konstin, June 27, 2011 at 9:19 p.m.

    Most of you are missing the point. Bradely is not the problem. The problem is that our SYSTEM does not work to create magical players like Messi, Pele, Mardona, Best, ZZ, and others. The solution is that US Soccer needs desperately a REVOLUTION. I have been coaching in the US for 36 years. I have coached in Europe, Mexico, Bolivia, Oceana, and even a bit in Asia. Our system does great things, fights obseity, anti drugs, anti gangs, anti smoking, life skills, dealing with adversity, team work, socialization, and all of these wonderful things do come out of our current system. But our SYSTEM doesn't create bad @@@ players. And only with bad @@@ players can you win hardware and ulimately a World Cup. But our focus should not only be on winning hardware or a World Cup. Our focus should be on developing passion and soccer life style. Let's be honest. Our sports media believe socccer is a joke in the US. The big 3 control the sports media in the US. Don't kid yourselves. Without Soccer America soccer would have no voice in the US. Thank you Soccer America that you are still here because without you we would not have a clue about soccer in America for the past 30 something years. You all give good points but we don't need good points. We need radical change. Isn't that funny. I think our country as a whole needs radical change. But the powers to be are sellouts and flakes. So we can not depend on those fools to help us change America nor change soccer in America. REVOLUCION my friends.

  54. Gak Foodsource, June 27, 2011 at 9:31 p.m.

    what makes anyone think Hiddink or Klinsmann want to coach this team? Our only good players are getting old and next generation is barren. even if a foreigner could be successful, he isn't doing it for Bradley's salary. And finally, Gulati makes the final call. He never brings in a guy who knows more about the game and has more credibility than he does, it will undermine every self-preserving effort he has made all these years. Cony is 100percent correct. emergency symposium of ideas with the best and brightest, followed by town hall style meetings. Also, Soccer America, how about a renewed focus on accountability? Not on BB or Bornstein - on the ODP directors, club bosses, and entrenched youth national coaches? I am not watching another MLS game or USMNT game until I see a symposium from Gulati followed by him articulating his vision and plan to fix it. Yes, it may be a long time, but I am tired of yelling at the wall.

  55. Gak Foodsource, June 27, 2011 at 9:39 p.m.

    Cony- I'm in. how do we get Pekerman, Bianchi and the most important piece, Ciro Medrano, here?

  56. Christian Navarro, June 27, 2011 at 10:24 p.m.

    Seriously, i'll put up the first grand for the hit!

  57. Eric R., June 27, 2011 at 11:04 p.m.

    I'm dis-satisfied with the team, but I still don't know who would take over the job. Kreis? Needs more experience and preferably more thn just 1 team; maybe if he takes over in Toronto or Columbus and does that well for a year or two. Klinsmann? I think it is clear that USSF doesn't want to give him the control he wants. Soooo who then? Robbie Williams? Bora Milotuvic maybe if he's not still in Iraq??? Seriously though, you can't fire the head coach without considering who's next.

  58. miguel abisaab, June 28, 2011 at 2:41 a.m.

    to my fellow fans of the USMNT greetings . I have read your comments yet no one mentions the CONCACAF choosing the sites for the Gold Cup Pasadena? Then the USSF Sunil Gulati letting this happen gave Mexico the cup and the US Soccer and Concacaf get much needed revune from the Mexican game gate reciepts. American soccer commentators on ESPN and Fox Soccer Cnannel not pointing out the obvious problems in the upper echelons of soccer here in our region( broadcast career suicide). Jack Warner?? nuff said, hello Chuck Blazer where you at? This tournament from the get go did us more harm than good and really put coach Bradley in a spot. Four friendlies this year prior to the Gold Cup vs. Chile, Argentina, Paraguay and Spain, the Egypt match made no sense thankfully it was cancelled. This is on the USSF Sunil Gulati's folks, we should be playing in the Copa America not the Gold Cup. Regional opponents should have been scheduled in the calender prior to the Gold Cup, but Argentina and Spain fill seats while Chile and Paraguay hardly at all.To me it seems Mr. Gulati wants to find a good reason to fire Bradley and hire Klinsmann. Mr Klinsmann is not the answer, Mr Gulati must go, he see things in a business perspective for US soccer,(he teaches economics at Harvard).Univision pretty muched hyped Mexico all the way from start to finish, Fernando Fiore should not have emcee the presentation of the medals and trophy, way out of line it polarizes the issue that we have with illegal immigration laws(Arizona and Georgia)and the english only here in our country. The USMNT is a young team, and a veteran team at the same time, however Bradley still has the next two years to get things right. The US will see Mexico again and the team that was on the field Saturday will be a much different with the likes of Chandler, Gonzalez,Holden,Altidore on the field and seeing Adu was a positve thing. The truth of all this is that American soccer fans are all grown up now and have expectations of the USMNT but make sure those that report the sporting news puts it on show likes Mike and Mike,Jim Rome would be great for Sunil to be on the hot seat, PTI, the OTL sport reporters, ESPN First Take, CNN sports tonight,etc etc get the message clear that soccer is now taken seriously here and those in charege or overseeing it need to be reminded

  59. Luis Arreola, June 28, 2011 at 9:46 a.m.

    Miguel, soccer has always been a business first in this country, I thought everyone knew? Now its just more obvious in the national team. Hispanics are the best fans especially for soccer. They are accommodating their clients. You can see this in other sports as well where you now have Hispanic Days and give their teams Hispanic names like "Los Bulls". Hispanics spend no matter what the economic situation. The problem with Georgia and Arizona is they want to fight against the future change that is inevitable. The USA team will have t field more Hispanics on it for two clear reasons. To play a better, more attractive and more competitive game vs top teams like Mexico and actually fill the stadiums when they don't play Mexico. This will make them money, money will make sure they invest in better coaching and a better youth program and selection. Why are we so influenced with English coaching with a Central and South American player pool as a majority? USA commentators

  60. Raffy Afarian, June 28, 2011 at 11:54 a.m.

    There seems to be a lot of passionate people here with a lot of soccer knowledge. That's exciting!! I urge you all to check out a blog site,, for truly knowledgeable discourse on soccer. I've been following it since it's inception a couple years ago and it's terrific for true soccer enthusiasts. Check it out....

  61. cony konstin, June 28, 2011 at 12:27 p.m.

    Hello Gak Foodsource

    I know that Ciro would come in a heart beat because the NSCAA brought him in a few years ago to do a clinic. Ciro has been working with US players for 20 years but in Bolivia. He would love to help the US establish the best youth development program in the world. Why? Because we have spoken about this for years. Perkermen and Bianchi I don't know them. We must not forget Javier Lozano. He is a Futsal genius. I know him and I believe we could get him to come as well. REVOLUCION!!!!!!

  62. Kent James, June 29, 2011 at 1:27 a.m.

    A lot of posters think that a new national team coach will be able to impose a new system that will then create players like Dos Santos. It all depends on whether you see change coming primarily from the top down, or from the bottom up. I think real change comes from the bottom up. The biggest problem the US faces is that we do not have a soccer culture (some posters have mentioned this). Kids are not out playing soccer in the streets after school, as they do in all the countries that have the skillful players we admire. The USSF (and USYSA, as well as Soccer America) generally knows this, and are trying to encourage changes to promote that kind of creative play. Yes, the emphasis on winning (and the irrepressible influence that paying coaches puts on winning) is destructive at the younger ages (because physical attributes are more effective than skill at that age), but it's generally the parents that are the driving force, not the national team coaching staff. So changing the coaching staff won't change the culture. If we want real change than we need to push it ourselves, at the local club level, or even in our neighborhood. Organize pick-up games. Focus on skill development and encourage access to everyone. It's fun to argue about the coach's errors and the players' abilities, but if we want to make a difference, the best way to do so is to do it ourselves.

  63. beautiful game, June 29, 2011 at 7:09 p.m.

    Clark G, could have, should have...that's not the point...when Edu sits out most of the game and Bornsteijn goes out ahead of him, something is wrong...your comments seem to imply that the USMNT squad has quality...unfortunately, it lacks in many departments...the Special One could not have made a's the players who have to make the effort and they failed miserably.

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