12 June 2012
Despite a somewhat sloppy performance from the US and an inability to put the home side away, the Yanks left Guatemala with a much needed road point thanks to Clint Dempsey's first half strike. The point leaves the Americans tied for first place with Jamaica after two matches in Group A.
The top two teams in each of the three CONCACAF groups that make up the semi-final round will advance to the final qualifying stage. As a result, the Yanks are in no real danger of not advancing to the final hexagon qualifying round despite the moans and groans you may hear from the fans.
Don't get me wrong I agree with the US fan base. Jurgen Klinsmann and crew better shape up quickly or a slip up in the final qualifying round is not out of the question. If they continue this poor midfield play where the link between them and the front-line is non existent, teams will continue to break them down. Right now I put Canada and the US on the same playing field which isn't a good sign. Mexico isn't even in the conversation as El Tri would mercy the Yanks at the moment.
What We Learned.....
1. 4-3-2-1 Formation Not Optimal
2. Mo Edu Not Getting It Done
3. Still Have Room to Grow, Don't Panic Yet
Analysis of the 3 points to come after the break....
The formation was a big issue tonight. Wing play going forward was pretty much not in the US' repertoire tonight. The midfield looked stretched. Gomez was getting no service in the first half from Dempsey and Donovan, who looked a bit confused on where to position themselves as well. This resulted in sloppy, inconsistent play from the entire team. In my eyes a lot of this falls on the formation.
Suggestion: Let's try a 4-2-3-1. We aren't this offensive powerhouse Klinsmann is making us out to be and we can't keep Spain like possession with this current offense. I would keep Edu and Jones as the holding midfielders and then allow Bradley to roam the middle. Bradley can then become the orchestrator and the link between the two ends of the team. I know it sounds crazy but going back to Bradley's 4-4-2 isn't a crazy idea either.
Bottomline- this team doesn't have the tools for the formation deployed by Klinsmann tonight and teams will exploit them if they continue in this way
Edu was a liability tonight. Giving the ball away far too frequently and as that "stopper" this is unacceptable. It allows the opposition to counter at will and ruins the continuity of the whole offense. Coming off a positive World Cup showing I expected Edu to secure a starting role as things moved forward, but in my eyes his first team spot may be evaporating.
Believe it or not I'd slide in Beckerman. What Beckerman lacks in ball skill he makes up in toughness and reliability. You know what you are going to get with Beckerman which could be just what the doctor ordered for the US and is a role he can succeed in against CONCACAF foes.
This team misses Holden!
I discussed this point in my introduction a bit and I will reiterate here.....it's not time to panic just yet! I strongly believe the Yanks will improve as qualifying continues. They just came off a grueling 5 game stretch plus camp so some rest should do them good. Also, all the Euro based players are currently off season form which should improve as the clubs start to come back from the summer. Klinsmann will get this shape clicking, it's just a matter of time. If you see the same thing in the HEX then please complain and I will support you whole-heartedly but until then let's relax for a second. Tonight's result was important! Big Point!