Wednesday, March 3, 2010
US vs Holland: step by step
Today, the USA played the #3 ranked team in the world, the Netherlands, and although it wasn't a positive result, the game still had certain value for the team. Bob Bradley himself said he had learned "a few things" from the match, especially given Beasley's performance and companionship for Jozy.
Yes, the final score was 1-2 in favor of the Dutch, but let's explore that a bit further: the first goal occurred due to a misguided move by Bornstein when he tugged on the shirt of a Holland player and created a penalty for the opposing team. The second goal was due to brilliant play by Sneijder, Huntelaar and company, and although Howard may have had it, an unfortunate bounce (off Bornstein) deflected the ball to the back of the net.
But the Americans bounced back near the end of the game. Even though Donovan was muted during most of the game (perhaps through clever marking or maybe fatigue due to Everton play), players like Bradley, Edu, Holden, Torres and especially Beasley, created the situations and provided Jozy with the ball. The American's goal came due to sheer perseverance and by Captain America, Carlos Bocanegra. It was a set piece, America's secret weapon.
Jozy Altidore once again showed his class, but he was missing a counterpart. It may be interesting to see him paired with Donovan or Dempsey if charlie Davies is unable to come back. Holden's early injury was a blow to the team's attack, but Beasley stepped up and may have sealed his place in the team for South Africa (as long as he gets minutes with Rangers).