When the USA has to rotate, we start Tim Ream and Brad Guzan and 74 year old DaMarcus Beasley.
“I was wrong. And the Muslim ban is just the latest example of someone who couldn’t be more out of touch with our country and the right way to move forward”. He buzzed around the midfield, switching on and off with Kellyn Acosta and taking turns stepping to the ball and dropping back into the hole. With Jermaine Jones at age 35, the 21-year-old Acosta may very well be the future of the United States midfield.
Regardless of those outcomes, Mexico still will top the CONCACAF standings, and United States of America will occupy either one of the automatic-qualification or inter-confederation-playoff spots with four games remaining. Arena said. “We know you can never really do that”.
Beating Beasley for pace, Vela cut in towards the top of the eighteen. He did some good things with his hold up play but he whiffed on his best chance and it sprung the Mexican counter attack for the goal.
The rest of the match remained exciting and thrilling.
The creativity wasn’t quite there from Juan Carlos Osario’s side, and it has been a quiet problem throughout recent matches despite the positive results.
What followed, stylistically speaking, in the subsequent 70 minutes of soccer on Sunday night was very much to be expected.
Bradley is encouraged by the Americans’ progress under Arena.
There are four more chances to collect points, all potentially winnable games, with both fixtures against Mexico out of the way. Both sides maintained the furious pace in the second half, with Mexico pressing relentlessly in search of a goal.
Both sides will be happy with the draw, but the game will be remembered for Bradley’s stunning goal. It led for 17 minutes on Sunday before Mexico answered.
Met with a chorus of boos as their national anthem rang out in a sea of green shirts, Bradley and US silenced the home crowd early. Thousands fled for the exits before the final whistle had blown, a combination perhaps of frustration and a desire to stay dry.
American soccer does a better job of producing technical players than it used to, but for the foreseeable future at least its most effective route to being competitive globally will be through good old-fashioned effort and determination. The top three teams in the six-team round robin competition qualify automatically for next year’s finals in Russian Federation.
Bruce has now coached the USA through 6 games in about as many months and has yet to lose a match, including World Cup qualifying games on the road against Panama and Mexico. No Tim Howard, no Fabian Johnson, no Jozy Altidore, and no John Brooks.
We can always look back on what could’ve been, and June 11th could’ve have been a day that would live on in pure American soccer folklore. “It’s going to take a lot, but I think with the guys we have and the confidence we have, there’s no reason why we can’t do it”.
There was also some inch-perfect defending from Gonzalez, Ream, even Beasley, and most notably from Geoff Cameron and Deandre Yedlin.
I’m not sure he should have gotten away with his gamble, or that he should repeat it again in a high-stakes situation, but Bradley’s early goal pretty was the ideal way to start a gameplan like that. If you come out with a result, hope is firmly restored.
Since Mexico won the previous meeting between the teams, the outcome also stands as a yardstick indicating improvements since Arena became coach.