30 May 2012
3 thoughts following Brazil's 4-1 triumph over the Americans
1. Herculez #1 US Forward?
If Herculez Gomez did not open Jurgen Klinsmann's eyes tonight with his performance then I don't know what will. Gomez absolutely tore it up tonight. Gomez made the most of every chance he got, scoring an opportunistic goal to close out the first half and almost delivering on a few opportunities in the second. Yes, Gomez got good service from Michael Bradley and Fabian Johnson on a couple of occasions but Gomez got it done. In my eyes Gomez is the #1 US forward on the depth chart. Altidore has more potential and could create a bigger mismatch for the opposition but right now I'd take Herc. Herculez! Herculez!
2. US Found Klinsmann's Positive Flare
The 4-1 final score was a bit harsh on the Americans. Despite the mental mistakes in the back and countless marking errors that in the end resulted in the loss, the Yanks had a positive way about them. You cannot ignore these significant errors but the US did embody the "Klinsmann Way" throughout this match, especially in the second half. A shift in mentality was noticeable. The US closed down with numbers, quickly gained possession in the midfield, and countered intelligently. Bradley pulled the strings, Fabian created havoc down the wing, Gomez found pockets of space, and overall the US had a positive mojo connected to their game. As a result, the US camp's optimism despite the lousy result is justified in my eyes.
3. Defense Exposed
The very beginning of the Klinsmann era was marked with the mantra, "the US can't score". Now all of the sudden defensive woes are to blame for the Yanks most recent loss, which makes a lot of sense when you look at the opponent who boasted the likes of Neymar, Hulk, Marcelo, Pato, etc. Age is definitely catching up to the Americans as Bocanegra and Cherundolo looked a step slow at various points in the match and Oguchi Onyewu overall put forth a very sub-par performance. Gooch did improve as the game went on but it wasn't enough to prevent the young Brazilians from finding the net.
Bottom-line: Onyewu needs to be the best US defender and return to his optimal form if the Yanks are going to have any chance in major competitions against the World's best teams.