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!

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

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The Set Piece: Exhale

The Set Piece: USA Loses 2-0

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3 Shots

  1. Jermaine Jones cannot start. – If anything was clear in the first half, it was that Jermaine Jones had, to quote Brian, “literally done nothing positive and several things negative.” He was slower than his Colombian counter parts, he missed passes that Nagbe would have gotten to, and, as always, he gave up the ball multiple times when pressing the attack. We all know Klinsmann is loyal to his boys, but Jones’ performance has to be taken as an indicator that the 34 year old cannot start in a serious international competition.
  2. Michael Bradley looked a step slow. – We love Bradley’s smarts and know he’s been a major contributor to the rise of USMNT, but last night he looked slow, his passes weren’t crisp and he always seemed two steps behind the Colombian attackers. The problem is, we don’t have a player on this squad that can do what Bradley has done in the past. Of course, maybe this is one game and on Tuesday we’ll be back to praising him or, more likely, this is the beginning of the end of Bradley’s international success.
  3. Play the young guys. – Everyone is trying to tell Klinsmann who to play and, as we all know, Klinsmann could give two fucks what you think. However, the young kids looked capable against a powerful Colombian team. Pulisic and Nagbe came on in the 60th minute and looked solid, Nagbe less though. Brooks and Johnson were solid on the back line all night. All this says, let them play. If anything good could come from this competition, let it be the establishment of fresh blood in this program. Maybe we continue to allow Deuce to start (the best of the older players last night), but aside from him, get the kids on the pitch and let them create something lasting for the upcoming World Cup.

Other Notes: Guzan, though he gave up a PK and a set piece goal, looked solid in the net…James Rodriguez hurt his shoulder while diving, slightly amusing…Set piece goal was all on Cameron, luckily he played better the rest of the match…Yedlin looked a bit lost on defense, giving up multiple chances to Colombia…That handball call was bullshit…Pre-match entertainment was horrible…Duece’s set piece, barely saved by Ospina, shows he’s still got it…Considering we lost 2-0, our defense didn’t look that bad.

Image from the Guardian.

The Set Piece: USA Loses 2-0

Jermaine Jones, Piece of Shit

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So I’ve been silent for a bit, due to my wife delivering a baby, but I’m back now and I’ll continue to update this site as best I can.

I understand that stars live in a bubble made up of their own farts, but the shit spewed from Jermaine Jones’ mouth in a recent article on MLSsoccer.com is pretty rank. “When you know people hate you, you get respect from that,” Jones told reporters this week. “If you walk into the stadium and [fans] don’t like you, you know that they think you’re a good player. They’re scared.”

Dude, no one is scared of you. You are an aging player who has outlived his usefulness on the national team and is now biding time on a middle of the road club. I hope you trip on your own shit.

How’s that for a hot take…

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Image from vicesports.com.

 

Jermaine Jones, Piece of Shit

Klinsmann knows Best

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Yesterday, when we sat down to record Episode 5 of our podcasts, I went nuts on the USMNT, Clint Dempsey in particular. “He’s got no heart. He’s not running out long balls. He looks like he doesn’t care.” Thankfully, we didn’t attempt to predict what the result would be of tonight’s match in Columbus. I’m sure I would have continued to heap on the team and predict another loss. And we both know, I would be very wrong.

Tension was high before kickoff in Twitter and in Columbus, people everywhere were calling for Klinsmann’s head left and right. And then instead of the lackluster performance of the 25th, a renewed US team showed up and attacked from minute number one. And of course, Deuce scored the first goal. After a lopsided match that could have ended 10-0, the US claimed a 4-0 win and all is well in Klinsmann land. Continue reading “Klinsmann knows Best”

Klinsmann knows Best

Home Sweet Home?

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Tomorrow United States takes on Guatemala in a must win match to qualify for the upcoming World Cup. The match is scheduled in Columbus, the hallowed grounds the United States always seems to retreat to when they need a win. However, the night before and we’ve still got tickets available, over 7,000. Some might say its because it’s a Tuesday and others might say it’s the cost, but I firmly believe it’s because this team lacks the heart to inspire a crowd. We’re doomed.

-Dan

Home Sweet Home?