FEEDBACK: SA readers on Mexico-USA

Stop the lineup juggling

Here are the key questions that need to be answered by Bruce Arena:

1. For a coach who always wants experience in his lineup, why did he have Onyewu, with only 2 caps, starting?

2. Why play Donovan in wide midfield and Beasley in central midfield when each of their strengths are in the opposite position?

3. Why was Reyna on the field after only having a handful of competitive matches in the last six months and why wasn't he substituted after he obviously labored to run at all?

4. Why do we revert to long balls to a lone forward who is getting no support, especially after we show that we can knock the ball around?

5. Will we be subjected to the same sort of lineup juggling and tactical choices for the rest of the Hexagonal?

I hope not or Germany 2006 may not include the US.

Dave Moffett

West Chester, PA

Let the other team worry!

I believe the USA team and Bruce Arena could look back on the game and give a lot of thought to the kind of soccer they were accustomed to playing that took them to the level they played at, certainly leading up to and at the last World Cup. Surely it was a disappointing performance in Mexico. No doubt figured on the apparent tactic of playing cautiously in the first half. Bruce should remember that the USA's attacking game is what brought out the best in the team since he has been at the helm. Starting with a 4-5-1 is just plain silly. I don't think any soccer person truly believes any team can play attacking soccer with such a heavily favored defensive posture. To expect Mexico with its ball artistry not to take advantage of little threat in its defensive third, by going forward relentlessly was naive. Not surprisingly the USA looked better and quite often threatened when the team had two clear strikers up front in the second half. I have heard the argument that the conditions required the approach of sitting back, but consider the dilemma Mexico would have been in, had the USA showed its usual football arrogance against CONCACAF teams and got an early goal through more enterprising and spirited first-half play. I believe it would have forced the nervous Mexico into a more interesting match. You see you don't go into a match playing for a tie against a team you are better than! Let the other team worry! Nevertheless, I believe this match was a good lesson for Bruce and his boys, and I am sure that the lesson has been well and truly learnt. I guarantee you that Donovan, Lewis, Johnson, Beasley, Reyna et al will not be sitting back anymore, because Bruce won't allow it. We do not like losing, but we should never lose because we fail to attack. In the competitive arena, the attackers usually win. Even if you defend well , you must score goals to win. Bruce need not fear, though, because the team is good enough and will qualify but only if it plays to its strengths, and that is to attack! Delroy Wallace

Coral Springs, FL

Donovan played scared

Let's lay the blame where it belongs -- the coach. Bruce Arena's plan for this game was terrible. Don't tell me about altitude - both teams are playing on the same field. We have created a good team by playing attacking, aggressive, swarming team defense. We pummeled the Mexicans by not allowing them to breathe in Korea -- but in this game -- especially the first 30 minutes we were pathetic. But that was the coaches call - not the players. The game plan was bad - if we knew we would be tired after 30 minutes then why not attack? Why not swarm all over them -- make them work just as hard and take fatigue out of the game. The USA Coach has gotten a free ride for too long -- let's start making him accountable. The one thing he did say that was right was the Mexicans were the better team Sunday!

And poor Landon Donovan -- complaining he's not getting enough time in Germany. Come on - where's the whining when we win! Wasn't he training for the past two weeks? The bottom line is he didn't step up -- he played scared!

We will make the cup - but let's do it our way!

Gerry Marrone

Shrewsbury, NJ

Donovan, Mastroeni and Onyewu overrated

Donovan's lack of commitment and tendency to whine showed why he failed again in Germany. Except for his assist on the Lewis goal, he was virtually useless, as was Mastroeni. SA overrated both of them and Onyewu and underrated Keller and Reyna.

Jim Madison

Menlo Park CA

The wait will be well worth it!

VIVA MEXICO today (el 27 de Marzo) but VIVA USA tomorrow (el 3 de septiembre) when our National Men's Team will play Mexico again in Columbus, Ohio with a very representative crowd of pro-American supporters, along with our very aggressive & convincing soccer play! Not only did the ATTITUDE of the Mexican crowd of over 115,000 not help our National team but the ALTITUDE also affected our team: truly, manifestly not acclimated as observed in our 1st. half sluggish, torpid action of the Match. But the ALTITUDE and ATTITUDE will definitely change at our Columbus, Ohio venue where the Tri-Colores will become Tri-Defeated via the 3 factors of: Altitude, Attitude, and Aggressive Style of Play by our 11 stalwart, determined Players.

The wait will be well worth it!

Austin Gomez

St. Louis

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