The Set Piece: Exhale

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  1. The old guys get it done. – Just a couple of days ago, this same column was calling out Jermaine Jones and Michael Bradley as slow and unable to compete on the world stage. I called for youth and more youth! What does Klinsmann do? Sticks to his lineup and suddenly the goals start rolling. Deuce with the set piece, JJ with the slick low, hard shot across the keeper and into the corner, Zusi comes on as a sub and scores the final goal of the night, and Beckerman, of all people, the third substitution of the night makes a dramatic clearance on Costa Rica’s best scoring chance. Of course Bobby Wood also scored, credit to him, but that didn’t fit my narrative. The reality was, old dudes were getting the job done. 4-0.
  2. Our odds just improved, dramatically. – After the Colombia loss, it was hard to see daylight for the USMNT. We hadn’t challenged much at all, aside from a couple of set pieces. Defensive marking had gone out the window in critical points. Mental mistakes, like Yedlin’s handball, had all fans wondering how bad this team actually was. Skip forward to tonight and suddenly everyone is wondering how far we could actually go in this tournament. Part of that is fandom, part of that is reality. For an hour or so we were top in the group, thanks to our win and goal differential, before Colombia beat Paraguay, locking up a trip to the knockout round. 4-0 does a lot for a fragile psyche like the US seems to have. Let’s see what we do when we face Paraguay on Saturday.
  3. Colombia is that much better. – So we spanked the shit out of Costa Rica, its true. This, of course, followed us getting spanked ourselves by Colombia. I’m not going to go to far into transitive properties, but you get my drift. What I will say is that in both matches we started the same lineups (much to the chagrin of BMH hosts) with dramatically different results. This has way more to do with the other team on the pitch rather than our team suddenly going from down 2 to up 4. Colombia is a slick team and should advance in the knockout round. Hopefully we’ll do the same…

Other thoughts: Only one tonight, because it’s goddamn 2:41a ya jerks. Costa Rican National team coach, Oscar Ramirez, who can’t seem to find a suit that fits him (I can empathize), bears a striking resemblance to Paul Bearer. Don’t remember Paul Bearer? He was the WWF/WWE manager for the Undertaker. Maybe I’m crazy, maybe it’s late, but we got a win today and let’s get another on Saturday!

Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 2.47.15 AM

Jermaine Jones image from the Denver Post. Other is a mishmash of Google searches.

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The Set Piece: Exhale

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