Moving on up

… to the hexagonal.  And from there to Rio 2014. 

What are we talking about here?  The US Men’s National Soccer Team (USMNT), of course, and their quest for glory at the next world cup.  You know: soccer, football, futbol, calcio, etc…

So, where are we now?  We’ve finished the first round of qualifying, topping our group, and our headed next to the hexagonal qualifying round where we will face off against Costa Rica, Mexico, Honduras, Panama, and Jamaica.  Good times.  The top three teams in that mini-tournament advance directly to the finals in Brazil and the fourth placed team has to win in a playoff spot to advance. 

We should be fine…  Although, we need to hope that Clint Dempsey can stay  on his current form during the next run of games and that Michael Bradley continues to be a dominant force for us in midfield.  We could also hope for the return of a fit and feisty Landon Donavon and that Eddie Johnson can continue playing the way he has been recently.

I’m not going to provide a play by play breakdown on last nights game against Guatemala, but here are some thoughts and other musings: 

Did Tim Howard seem shaky in goal in the second half to anyone else, or was that just me? 

An obvious and ungiven hand ball and an obvious and ungiven penalty when Bradley was bundled over in the box (though he did make the most of it) sure make it hard not to think that the refs don’t always give the US the calls they should. 

Clint Dempsey (Deuce!) had a good game, and bagged a brace and an assist, but I worry that without the good combination he was having with Eddie Johnson and Graham Zusi he wouldn’t have been anywhere near as potent in front of goal. 

Eddie Johnson’s dribbling up the left flank led to some of the best highlights of the match, we need more players that are willing to dribble and take on the opponents. 

I found it very disconcerting that our backline was made to look foolish almost all night long by an aging striker who doesn’t even have a club team at the moment. 

Sacha Kljestan… well, I’m just not sure at all why he is still getting playing time for the national team.  Maybe that’s just me?

The Kansas City crowd at Livestrong Park was absolutely fantastic: passionate and loud, and it all came through great on television.  It was a job well done for the American Outlaws.  I hope more and more of our home games going forward can match that level of intensity and become the twelfth man for our national team.

It seems our best defense at the moment is a good offense.  If nothing else that at least should make our hexagonal games entertaining, if not completely stressful, nerve-wracking, nail-biting, to watch.  That being said, hopefully Jurgen Klinsmann has some sort of plan in the works for addressing our defensive frailties.   

That about covers it.  If you have questions or want to disagree with me feel free to share what you want in the comments section.  I’ll be here all week.

Well, I’ll actually be here much longer than that…

2 thoughts on “Moving on up

  1. I completely agree that Timmy looked shaky in goal last night. Normally, solid as a rock, but the bumbled save which he was lucky to then kick away, and the bumble handling of the ball that came back worried me about his performance. He couldn’t do much on their goal though… so I don’t fault him for that… and this is all coming from someone who plays keeper, so usually I defend keepers to the death!

    • Yeah, Timmy is definitely the first name I put on the team sheet, and last night didn’t change that. And he wasn’t at fault for the goal, I agree; I was just concerned.. it’s the first time I’ve seen him that shaky. Thanks for commenting!

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