Old Futbol Buffett–US Tease and Portugal Romp

Slovenia 2  United States 3

So I had the US game on in the background at work. I checked the starting line-up and saw an aggressive 4-4-2 with Buddle and Altidore up top and Dempsey in the hole. From the first minute the US had an edge which seemed to carry over from the end of the France game. A turnover from Slovenia just outside the 18 led to a US goal from Buddle with a fine strike. (Not awesome as Harkes said.) But questions were being asked in the American rearguard and Slovenia equalized soon after. The US started again and had several chances, some off target, some offside, but at least they were going at their opponents. A corner was headed by Dempsey and this was followed quickly by Johnson being tripped in the box, which led to a penalty that Altidore converted. 3-1 at halftime (in the fog)? Wow.

Second was a clusterf$(# from the kickoff. The US did not match the intensity of the hosts and after several half chances and shots off the woodwork, Slovenia got their second. After that, Klinsi started making subs and the Yanks worked on maintaining possession and killing the game. Eventually Klinsmann moved to a 4-4-1-1 with Edu coming in to help Beckerman and Shea out on the left to add some creativity.

Liked the formation at the start. Bradley and Johnson were narrow but that’s what they do. Gives more passing options in the interior and allows Cherundolo and Chandler to get forward. Dempsey’s work rate pays off as he works behind the lines, trying to start an attack, commit defenders and slot in the attacking players. However Beckerman was on a fricking an island and Chandler was caught out of position several times.  One of the takeaways for me is that Goodson is not of international standard. Between his defending and his distribution, he kills the team.

After a first half of excitement, fans were served up more of the same in the second half: poor defending, dare I say shambolic, poor possession, and white knuckles. The US finally found attacking success, as they had against Brazil at the Confederations Cup, as they had against Mexico in the Gold Cup, and yet here they were, fighting for their lives.

I am not easy to please but this act is wearing thin. The US either plays poor but frustrates the opposition, barely losing but achieving the moral victory, or they go for it, hit the heights and then throw it away. The Men’s National Team are not world beaters but surely they must be smarter and more professional than this. I would just like 90 minutes of consistent performance that is pleasing to watch regardless of the result. Yesterday was fun to watch but for all the wrong reasons.

Grant Wahl’s three comments were as follows”

  • Klinsmann’s changes sparked the U.S.’s offensive breakout.
  • The defense still needs work.
  • Are two classic forwards the way to go?

For me, Klinsmann faces a dilemma here. If he goes more attacking, especially two forwards and a diamond midfield the backline will be exposed. Timmy Chandler may improve his tactical position (read—not let people inside of him or hold people on) so he might stay, but Goodson has got to go.

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As for the Euro 2012 playoffs, Croatia drew 0-0 with Turkey (3-0 agg); the Czech Republic won 1-0 at Montenegro (3-0 agg); and Ireland drew 1-1 with Estonia (5-1 agg).  Fans of the Portuguese National Team can thank me.  I chose not to watch the return leg and they destroyed Bosnia 6-2.  I have watched Portugal off and on over the last 10 years and I don’t think I’ve seen six goals total, and they get that many in one game.  Oh well.  Come the Euro Finals you better believe they won’t get six goals in the whole tournament.  They’ll be lucky to survive their group.

Seedings for Euro 2012

Pot 1: Spain, Holland, Poland*, Ukraine*.
Pot 2: Germany, Italy, England, Russia.
Pot 3: Croatia, Greece, Portugal, Sweden.
Pot 4: Denmark, France, Czech Republic, Republic of Ireland

The Draw for the tournament is Dececmeber 2.

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Finally, @O_Fenomeno86 put up a great post about how he found Juve.

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