mercoledì 27 marzo 2013

It could be done

The USA held Mexico to a 0-0 tie and get away a big point that ended a poor track record there. The tie moved the U.S. (1-1-1) into third place in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying even with a depleted roster lacking of nine starters.With midfielder Jermaine Jones already off due to an ankle injury, head coach Jurgen Klinsmann had to made another change when Clarence Goodson too were unavailable due to a hamstring injury. German coach opted to put on the field a very young central defensive duo pairing Matt Besler to Omar Gonzalez. They both came from MLS as Besler is playing with Sporting Kansas City and Gonzalez with the Los Angeles Galaxy. Gonzalez and Besler, which recorded a total of six caps combined before the game, looked well anchoring a U.S. back line that showed weakness on the flanks, specially on the left, where veteran DaMarcus Beasley had troubles chasing the line. With Mexicans trying to break through from the wings during the match, a much better work was done by Geoff Cameron on the right. Mexico had the edge as they posted a 17-1 shots, but rarely created clear scoring chances. On the other side, the Americans hadn't spells of ball retention, recording just one shot. El Tri put a lot of more pressure during the 15 corner kicks they had but poor execution plagued them also on set pieces situations. Herculez Gomez and Graham Zusi did a big job in the USA half while Michael Bradley provided energy on the middle of the pitch though he blew Americans' best scoring opportunity. Jozy Altidore was decent up top albeit he had no support as Clint Dempsey wasn't effective. The Americans essentially played a defensive oriented game but they have to be happy as they showed a huge amount of attitude and teamwork. 

 Player ratings: (0-10; 10=best)
G Brad Guzan, 7: Another game and another
clean sheet. He showed his usual ability to command the box.

D DaMarcus Beasley, 5: He struggled to cover the flank
and was knocked several times.

D Matt Besler, 7: At just his second cap, he
looked like a veterans, specially in the air. 

D Omar Gonzalez, 7: A big performance. As Besler, Gonzalez disallowed everything Mexico sent his way way both in the air and on the ground.

D Geoff Cameron, 6:
Did his job and was effective defending.

M Michael Bradley, 6,5: Solid defensive performance, good with the ball on his feet but he wasted
Americans’ best chance to score.

M Maurice Edu, 6: Decent defending provide strenght in midfield. Made a dangerous tackle in the penalty area in the 76th minute

M Herculez Gomez, 6: Spent his game time helping Beasley on the flank. Looked comfortable.

M Clint Dempsey, 5: Contributed defensively
but offered little forward.

M Graham Zusi, 6:
Contributed defensively and did it quite well while had not attacking influence.

F Jozy Altidore, 6: Playing as lone forward
he didn't get support so his opportunities were limited.


M Eddie Johnson, 6: Added something offensively.

M Brad Davis, 6: Offered some freshness.

M Brek Shea, 6: Provided energy in the middle.

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