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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Observations: US vs Czech Republic

It was a disappointing end to an interesting and eventful night. Czech's go-ahead goal shouldn't have been and the defense should have done better. But, instead of looking at the game, I'd like to focus on the players:
  • Guzan: Very rusty, and it showed at times. He also showed why he's on the team. Quick saves and good positioning.
  • Onyewu: Was at fault for the first Czech goal, looked rusty at times but very good on the ground. May not start in South Africa but in the 23.
  • Bornstein: Speedy recovery in plays but many errors that caused trouble for the defense. In 23, could be replaced by Pearce/Bocanegra/Spector.
  • Goodson: Excellent game for the central defender. Assisted on Gomez's goal. In 23, may start ahead of Onyewu/DeMerrit.
  • Pearce: His play was weak tonight and didn't outdo Bornstein. Good going forward. Not in 23.
  • Cherundolo: Beaten in Czech's second goal. A bit lost at times but had generally good positioning throughout the match and very good going forward. In 23, Spector may get the nod ahead of him at right back.
  • Edu: Opportunistic goal, his new trademark. He was steady and dangerous in the midfield and broke up play by the opossing team. The 4th goal was his fault. Not a great switch to D. In 23, starter alongside Bradley.
  • Holden: Excellent match. Assisted on the first goal. His crosses were great. His defensive play could improve, however. In 23, probably a supersub or interchangeable with Dempsey.
  • Beasley: This was the Beasley we all know and remember. Quickly to the attack and defense, great passing. In 23, supersub and/or interchangeable with Donovan.
  • Torres: Had a quiet night but impressed enough to remain in the team. In 23, substitute mainly.
  • Sacha Kljestan: Not a bad night, but he's still behind many others in the initial 30. Not in 23.
  • Alejandro Bedoya: Not very effective and this may have cost him the trip to the World Cup. Pearce's faults could put him into the 23.
  • Robbie Rogers: Lively and speedy but not enough to replace others in the squad. Not in 23.
  • Edson Buddle: Worked hard but was unlucky going forward. Could make 23 in favor of Johnson/Gomez/Bedoya.
  • Eddie Johnson: A bit more effective than Buddle. His play set up Edu's goal in the first half. Could make the 23 in favor of Buddle/Gomez/Bedoya.
  • Herculez Gomez: Golazo! Always dangerous but needed to pass the ball better. A great supersub in South Africa. In 23 unless Pearce/Bedoya/Johnson combination doesn't work for him.
  • Brian Ching: Possession and experience. In 23 and could start along with Donovan/Altidore/Dempsey.
The 4-2 score is tough to swallow. Treat this as a pre-season withouth the starters. However, about 3 or 4 that played tonight might actually start in the World Cup. Tonight was about showing us who can still cut it and who has lost their chance. Gomez, Beasley, Holden, Edu and Goodson stepped up. In any case, we'll learn tomorrow who will actually go to South Africa. Saturday will showcase more, if not all of the starters.

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