Sorry for the delay and the abbreviated nature of this post. I've been on the road all weekend, and I'll put something together after the Denmark match that will address what we learned from the two matches. Until then, just a few quick hits about the Slovakia match...
* We're a technically solid team. Where we struggle is (1) creating enough clear-cut chances from the run of play when the opposition sits off and makes us beat them (eg. no counterattacks allowed!) and (2) finishing the chances we do get.
* Dempsey's punk-ass "I'm better than you lot" attitude is really starting to grate. On a positive note, it looks like he's been working on his Ronaldo "knuckleball" free kick, which might prove useful...
* Spector didn't look lost in the middle. I liked his ability on the ball as well, but do have concerns about his instinct to try for the direct ball over the top too often.
* Part of what made Davies so important to the US front line was the change of pace and energy he brought, forcing defenses to sit deeper. Long term, I wouldn't mid seeing Donovan playing that role, but in the meantime, I was sure Bob brought in Cunningham and EJ to audition for the part of "speed guy." Which makes it strange that neither started this match.
* Casey is frustrating. At times, his touches and passing are excellent. But then he puts down a series of heavy touches. And then, of course, there's the inconsistent finishing and the dire lack of speed he's bringing to the party. Why is he starting for us again?
* A tale of two Bornsteins. The notes I jotted in-match remarked upon how good Bornstein's defending was in the early going. He was cutting out crosses, making tackles, muscling the Slovakia right wing off the ball. But then it all fell apart, and it wasn't like he was compensating by bringing too much to the attack outside of a couple of crosses. Castillo on Wednesday?
* Feilhaber looks sharp. Good to see that regular club playing time is paying off. That said, I hate it when Bradley plays him wide. Which pretty much guarantees that he'll be playing on the left, Holden on the right, with Clark and Junior in the middle on Wednesday, rather than the much more appetizing Torres-Junior-Benny-StuHo midfield quartet.
* Altidore is rusty. He needs playing time. Wonder if that's why Bradley left him out there so long when things obviously weren't working for him?
* Our crossing sucks. StuHo to the white courtesy telephone please...
* Guzan looks really good. Too bad his minutes at club level are so limited by that other Brad or he might really be pushing Howard (to the benefit of all).
Anything I missed?