Post-Gold-Cup Thoughts

Tim Howard is a total wanker.  There’s just no excuse for what he said.  He should be happy about this.  Though to be fair, he’s clearly pissed about the Dos Santos goal, which really isn’t his fault.  Also, he was pretty much awesome the whole tournament.  Maybe simply great during the final, instead of superhuman, but he’s allowed that.

Losing Steve Cherundolo sucked, but as everyone on the planet has noted, Bornstein had no business as his replacement.  Neither should Bradley have moved Lichaj off the left.  While granting that the defense was thin, and that Bocanegra had been effective in the center of the defense, and granting that Ream’s last game prior to be benched was ugly, I *still* would have brought Ream (or even Spector) over Bornstein.  Maybe moved Bocanegra out to the right, but Bornstein was an unmitigated disaster.  Bad choice, Huh Bob.
I’ve gained a grudging respect for Michael Bradley. I  used to think he was only on the team because his dad was the coach (is there anything more American than having dad coach your team?), but he earned his spot in spades.
I think Bob Bradley managed to play all nine US midfielders (except maybe Robbie Rogers) during the Gold Cup.  Quite an accomplishment, and frankly, he was pretty smart in his choices regarding who played when (yes, that’s a backhanded reference to Sasha Kljestan and, sort of, Freddy Adu).  And once he got away from that stupid 4-4-2 and instituted the 4-2-3-1, it actually effing worked, and worked well as a formation.
Also, Bedoya?  Good things there.  More of that, please.  He’s not Donovan, but he can capably take his place as Donovan ages.
The USMNT was woefully short on forwards.  I know that Dempsey can play up front, but when you’re forced to have Agudelo as your base starter – and I like Agudelo, but he’s only 18 – you’ve done something wrong.  Wondolowski should have been given a chance, or the US should have brought at least one more striker.  Bad Bob.
The USMNT performance against Mexico wasn’t that great, but that has a lot more to do with the loss of Cherundolo and the resulting confidence-destroying disaster that was Bornstein – oh, and the fact that Mexico brought their A+ game – than it does with any new long-term problems with the US.  They got beat by a much better team.  It happens.  Also?  This is great news for Mexico, and, I think, Western Hemisphere soccer.
Finally, if Bob Bradley brings back the 4-4-2, can him.  Can him immediately.
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