The United States failed to impress and failed to adapt in Honduras losing 2-1 in San Pedro Sula. This of course was probably one of the most difficult games to get to start of the Hexagonal but it will not doubt up the pressure on Jurgen Klinsmann.
Of course a-lot will be read into this first game but one must remember their are 9 games to go with the U.S. playing next in Denver against Costa Rica in March.
Here are some thoughts:
U.S. manager Jurgen Klinsmann got it wrong here playing two in-experienced center backs in Geoff Cameron/Omar Gonzalez. It was a risk.
Sure Gonzalez gets cap tied but it was the first time the two played together and it showed as they did not play as one.
Unless there is something we don’t know around injury etc. the likely partner for Cameron should have been Carlos Bocanegra with his experience in Concacaf.
Cameron has been playing as a right back in England for Stoke and it is an adjustment moving back into the middle.
The experience of Bocanegra would have been valuable.
Those who are piling on two center backs on this day truly don’t know the game of soccer because it was alot more than this.
Where was Herculez Gomez who knows the region and plays for Mexico and runs and pressures like an animal incessantly.
Many of the German- American contingent including Klinsmann are learning the region and will understand it better after this result.
Tim Chandler, Fabian Johnson, Danny Williams truly struggled and labored as did their teammates.
NO player on this night played to their capability, all underperformed.
The experience of Steve Cherundolo and Carlos Bocanegra surely was missed as was some guy named Landon Donovan.
Those who think it is going to be easy moving forward without him, think again.
Klinsmann is hoping that a re-newed Donovan might just show up down the road.
His presence, experience, ability on the ball and to live up to the moment are missed.
*THE GAME WINNER
So many are putting the blame totally on Geoff Cameron who looked as though he was called off a penetrating pass by gk Tim Howard.
I am amazed at how many failed to recognize the lethargic, lack of pressure on the ball in midfield on the passer of the ball of Honduras.
Sasha Klejstan, Maurice Edu, and Michael Bradley all were in the vicinity. I put that last goal more on LACK OF PRESSURE ON THE BALL IN MIDFIELD.
Ultimately Jerry Bengston scored from Boniek Garcia.
* DID NOT LIVE UP TO IT
Team shape, lack of pressure on the ball, failure to contain the wide areas of the field and poor possession all come in to play but the failure to live up to it physically is where it starts. The environment and opponent seemed too much.
*DEUCE GOAL A BEAUTY
The beauty of this goal was the delivery from Jermaine Jones , the determined run and the speared in finish from Dempsey. The sad thing is it only lasted for a 1-0 lead for five minutes before the unreal Garcia bicycle kick that tied things up after loose defending.
*PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Boniek Garcia of Honduras was lively, dangerous and stepped up at the appropriate moments of the match. The good news for Houston Dynamo fans is that he is property of the Orange for the next three years but still I am sure the phone has been ringing off the hook with interest at the Dynamo offices.
*SUBS ADD LITTLE
Klinsmann used them early but Graham Zusi, Maurice Edu and Sasha Klejstan needed to add to this game. Sadly they brought little. This area was ineffective and the bench failed to give the U.S. the boost it needed.
Every world cup qualifying cycle brings high’s and low’s.
This was a low and they happened when Bruce Arena and Bob Bradley had the team during their cycles as well. No need to jump off the ledge and over-react but much must be learned and for the moment some signs are troubling.
*DOOR OPEN FOR LD
Jurgen Klinsmann told me and the Espn crew in Houston that the door is “always open for Landon.” Lets hope he walks through it soon.
JAMAICA WITH JT TIE MEXICO
The most stunning result comes from Jamaica who get a 0-0 draw against Javier Chicharito Hernandez and Mexico. The “new” Reggae Boyz were spirited and difficult to play against.
Ryan Johnson had a breakaway only to shoot tamely at gk Jose Corona.
Mexico was booed off the field while the Theo Whitmore “cool runners” get a historic result.
Dynamo center back Jermaine Taylor played the full 90 minutes at right back and played well!!!
This is a new Jamaica, one that shows poise, composure and has eliminated the irrational challenges and decision of unprofessional play that has dogged them in the past.
They stood up physically in Azteca and have made many in the Mexican media “eat crow’ including a boatload of former players who did not respect the Reggae Boyz.
KICK CANCER SOCCER CAMPS DECEMBER 2013
FACEBOOK: SOCCER MATTERS head over and give us a like. Twitter: GlennDavisSoc