Quick Thoughts on USA v. Ecuador

Good first half. Familiar lack of finishing. Weak second and predictably punished. The defense did look better organized (at least until Bocanegra left) though uncomfortable against the quick counter, something that should have Mexico salivating. Anyway, just a few thoughts...

* Chandler looked really impressive at the problem left back spot. His positioning, sometimes suspect against Honduras, was much better here, and he handled a very high quality right winger (Valencia) while still providing attacking thrust down his flank. The problem? We may need him on his more natural right side. Cherundolo looked slow defensively and indecisive on the ball in the first half while Spector was predictably poor in the second.

* Onyewu had a confident outing, and the center of defense looked strong in general. At least it did until Ream came on. Not quite ready for prime time, is he? True, Ecuador didn't fashion too many clear chances even after his introduction, but he was at fault for the one they did, the one that ended up making the difference. You've got to assume that Gooch-Boca is back as the first choice pairing, and I'd be more than a little surprised if we don't see Gonzalez getting a serious look as an alternative to Goodson/Ream/Orozco.

* Beasley looked a bit of a technical dinosaur, his touches almost clumsy by comparison with the rest of the players on the field, a big problem for probably the physically weakest player on the pitch. He did take up good spots to get on second balls from set pieces, but didn't contribute much else.

* Still not overjoyed with Beckerman starting. He does a job, but too often he's wasteful on the ball. In this match, that wastefulness resulted in a number of solid counter chances for Ecuador.

* Altidore had some decent link-up play, but that largely disappeared from the forward line after he was subbed off. Likewise the flank play, which suffered from a lack of willing runners in the second half.

That's about it for the quick impressions. Off to watch Mexico-Brazil...

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