Sometimes you are able to wake up, go back and review an event from the night before that you thought was absolutely horrendous, and realize that it really wasn't all that bad. This was not one of those times. Upon reviewing Tuesday evening's United States vs. Canada match, I'm astonished that anybody, even your most diehard soccer fan, was able to get through the whole game from start to finish. It truly was a missable affair, one that I plan on completely forgetting after putting this piece together.
3 thoughts on USA 0-0 Canada: Just how bad was it?
Ives Galarcep from Soccer by Ives & FOX Soccer: "Yes folks, calling tonight's match mediocre was extremely generous. One of the worst games of soccer I've ever watched in my life on TV."
Jamie Trecker from FOX Soccer: "The game is awful. It's like having your fingernails pulled out. #OHGODMAKEITSTOP!!!"
MassiveCityFFC: "BREAKING: US & Canadian scientists announce a joint sleep experiment is, currently underway in Houston."
This was supposed to be a cakewalk for the US second team, not to mention a golden opportunity for several Major League Soccer players to make their way into the senior side. Instead, a group of guys who had been training for weeks to prepare for this very contest played like a squad that had maybe enjoyed a kickabout or two and nothing more in the week leading up to the game. The American attack was toothless, the team's midfield lacked any real quality or consistency minus one player (more on him later), and their back line broke down early enough to grant Dwayne De Rosario, Canada's lone attacking star, an open chance on goal that was handled well by goalkeeper Sean Johnson.
I can't help but wonder if Tuesday will prove to be the final chance for Chris Wondolowski and for Eddie Johnson. Both wasted scoring opportunities while inside the box, and I'm not convinced that Johnson's second half attempt that he skied well over the bar has yet landed. The fact remains that US head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has younger and, dare I say, better options for World Cup qualifiers than Wondo and E.J.
I hear that Kenny Cooper isn't all that busy at the moment.
3 thoughts on USA 0-0 Canada: Bright spot
Defender Omar Gonzalez had himself a fine night, but he wasn't called upon to do much of note, and he was far from great in starting US counterattacks. All of the energy and quickness Josh Gatt provided for the US attack in the second half was negated by poor decisions and a lack of execution in the final third. One American stood out as the man of the match in my eyes, and that was midfielder Kyle Beckerman.
Beckerman was a true box-to-box player on Tuesday, clogging up the defensive midfield and also kick-starting a few attacking sequences that ultimately went nowhere. It would be easy to argue that no player in the US starting XI earned a spot in the February and March squads more than did Beckerman. He likely won't find himself in Klinsmann's first-choice lineups for those matches, but he deserves at least one more call-up for the meaningful games.
3 thoughts on USA 0-0 Canada: What could have been
I'm willing to admit that I am a biased New York Red Bulls supporter, but it still would have been nice to see Connor Lade get a chance to at least be a second half spark plug on Tuesday evening. Lade, who didn't dress for the match, played a similar role for RBNY during much of his rookie MLS campaign, and his tenacity and ability to wear down defenders made him a favorite of Thierry Henry at the midway point of the 2012 campaign.
The result of this match didn't matter, of course, but it's always a positive to send the home crowd away with a win. Looking back, this was the type of game that needed a Connor Lade in order to break things open and also energize those around him. Following the halftime break, Lade could have been subbed on for Tony Beltran, Brad Evans or Graham Zusi. It's not as if any of those men excelled during the opening half of play.