- The US defense were lucky to only surrender one goal. They looked confused and disorganized and committed too many fouls in bad areas, distributed poorly, and often tried to get too cute and dribble or pass when the smart play would have been to dump it upfield and regroup. The Boca-Gooch pairing is too much "bruiser" and not enough "thinker" in the center of defense. The ideal would be to pair one of these guys with a more tactical back with good speed and positional sense, but do we have that type of player in the pool? DeMerit is another destroyer-type. Parkhurst? Positionally sound and reads the game well, but is he too small and slow for the international game? Boswell? Big body and more of an organizer, but probably also too slow. Conrad? Probably the best bet, though he's a bit slow for my liking. Anybody else spring to mind? Bueller?
- Run DMB looked focused and dangerous even if his touch wasn't always the best. It's good to see him returning to form and hopefully he can catch on with a Euro side that will start him regularly this fall. Just the fact that he was looking to take people on as the first option, rather than playing negative passes, was refreshing and he seemed to have the sort of veteran cool and maturity that I don't ever recall seeing from him. Took his penalty with confidence and supplied a nice dead ball cross for Gooch to head home.
- Deuce needs to get rid of the ball more quickly. He was caught in possession far too many times and often in areas where he would have been advised play one-touch and get the ball into the Chinese end before busting out the tricks. Also, I don't care if he scored an £80 billion goal for Fulham, he needs to practice finishing with his feet (the head seemed fine though).
- Feilhaber is class. I hope he finds some regular playing time for Hamburg or on loan this year. Passing, ball-winning, set plays - not to mention sacrificing the body to finish with style. I was less impressed with Bradley. His pass to set up the penalty that led to the first goal was nice and he was mobile and played neat one-touch stuff in the middle of the park, but the constant blood and thunder, old-school English take-em-to-the-woodshed, flying, two-footed tackles were a bit worrying. I'm still intrigued to see what the Gold Cup brings for these two.
- Charlie Davies looks like he'll be a useful player once he calms down and starts letting the game come to him rather than trying to force everything. More speed can never hurt and we could use more depth at the pacey striker position.
- Dropping four goals on anybody in international play is nothing to sneeze at. Despite not having too much of a size advantage, the US scored twice from set plays. In CONCACAF qualifiers where the size difference will be more pronounced, the US needs to take advantage of these opportunities.
- Wynalda may be an ass, but at least he's tolerable compared to Stoner. The relentless yahoo-cheerleader-wink-wink-nudge-nudge-say-no-more-buddy-comedy cretinism that is Rob Stone devalues the game and reduces it to the "here comes mom with the orange slices" mentality that the sport needs to escape from in this country if it's ever to be taken seriously. Enthusiasm is one thing - Rob Stone is another. He's like the black hole where dignity goes to die.
- Spartan Stadium = indoor soccer = hockey on a rug. Where's the penalty box?
USA v. China - Quick Hits