It was a day of gathering experience for a young U.S. National team in a 3-1 win over Denmark at the Home Depot Center yesterday.
Oh and by the way this was a very youthful Danish squad so lets keep it all in perspective.
The U.S. was outplayed in the first half and fortunate to get a late penalty to grab momentum going into the locker room.
Ricardo Clark was fouled outside the penalty area yet a spot kick was awarded. Landon Donovan’s ensuing penalty was hit poorly and should have been saved yet the USA went in to the locker room tied 1-1 undeserved.
In the first half Chris Rolfe a striker for Chicago struggled out wide, Donovan mostly invisible on the right side in midfield and both Eddie Johnson and Nate Jacqua lacked movement up front. For me Donovan needs to be closer to goal and central if he is our best attacking American player.
I don’t know if Bob Bradley was trying to give opportunity to Rolfe and Donovan in different areas but these choices did not produce enough if the first half.
The second half to Bradley’s credit he made changes that produced better soccer and two more goals. Both Jonathan Bornstein after a great move by Justin Mapp (poorly defended by Denmark) and Ken Cooper Jr. netted their first and memorable national team goals.
Good start, good effort, good changes but keep it all in perspective. One game means nothing. The real winner was getting young players opportunity.
Good first start for Bradley who is definetly the number one American choice for the job at this point.
Bradley may be embarrassed by the incessant amount of times that pal Bruce Arena reminded us that the ‘interim’ tag should be removed from his status as head coach during the broadcast. Other than that it is interesting to have the former national team coach on the broadcast but the incessant talk eventually wore me down in a very crowded booth.
A good start symbolic of moving on from the disappoinment of the World Cup in Germany this past summer.
Fair or not alot of judgement will be placed on both Bradley and Mexico coach Hugo Sanchez in February when the U.S. and Mexico meet in Glendale, Arizona.