« on: June 13, 2016, 11:36:37 am »
Thoughts from Friday night's U.S. vs Paraguay game. Yedlin is an idiot. Seriously. Sure the first yellow was dubious, but to just lose your mind? You are a professional soccer player with a year in the top flight of English football under your belt. Don't be an idiot. While Yedlin has made some eye popping runs, and recoveries, he's also been a liability for the U.S. Very much a high risk, high reward player right now. I'm not an Orozco fan. Not by a long shot. But we might get more defensive consistency out of him for the Ecuador game, even if he eliminates some of the threat up the wing Yedlin provides.
However, with Yedlin suspended, we now need to keep Zardes on the wing. His touch was still a problem Friday night, though he did have his moment. But without the threat of Yedlin's speed, you can't also pile Zusi on that side. Zardes keeps the wide speed threat viable on the left.
Brooks was the best player on the field. He's had some growing pains, but if he can keep playing at this level he would be the pillar of any club or country defense in the world. Cameron is playing perfectly in his shadow. Williams kind of disappeared against Paraguay. He will need to provide more threat going forward on that side as Bedoya is a good and necessary piece, but not seeming to be the creative wide threat we could use on the right.
Dempsey, Jones and, Bradley have anchored the middle of the field. Jones has been unbelievable until his predictable, and yet stupid, yellow card. Bradley's card for dissent was equally idiotic and wasteful. But Dempsey in the 4-4-2 underneath is right at home. I wasn't as thrilled with Wood against Paraguay as CRC, but you can't fault his work rate. He was everywhere, even if he wasn't quite as effective up front. Bradley also played a bit too conservative, even before Yedlin's idiocy. I'd like to see him look forward, not in the sense of bombing long balls down the wings but in the sense of picking out an attacker in the next line up, before choosing the square or back pass as much as he did Friday night.
Big saves from Guzan at the right time. The U.S. has been blessed with goal keeping for 20+ years. So long as that keeps going we are always a threat to pull one out.
Finally, given the time zones, miles, and the effort we put in during that second half, how gassed are we? Losing a day of recovery, and having to cross the country again, is a tough pill to swallow. Especially for an aging Jones who has run his cleats off in all 3 games. Peru in NJ Friday would have been a better deal than an Ecuador team that seems to be on the upswing all the way out in Seattle on Thursday. Of course we didn't know Brazil was going to be a dud, but Columbia sure looks like they played the tournament for a fool resting their players, getting the shorter road trip (Houston to NJ is 1440 miles. Houston to Seattle is 1900 miles. Plus one timezone versus 2), and the extra day of rest.