Tag Archives: DaMarcus Beasley

USA gains valuable point in draw with Mexico

27 Mar

It wasn’t pretty, but the US managed a 0-0 draw with Mexico in a CONCACAF World Cup qualifier on Tuesday.  The Azteca is an notoriously difficult place to play and the Yanks have seen little success there.  In fact, this draw was only the second point the U.S. has ever earned at the Azteca in World Cup qualification.

With a win and a draw in its last two matches, the U.S. now sits in third place in CONCACAF with four points with seven matches to go.  Mexico, meanwhile, is in fifth with three.  There’s still a lot of football to be played and this whole qualification process is guaranteed to get interesting before things wind down.  The top three teams advance to the World Cup in Brazil while the fourth place team has a play-off against Oceania champ New Zealand.

Thoughts and observations on the game in no particular order:

  • Brad Guzan has shown that he is more than capable of replacing Tim Howard in net.  Two shutouts in two starts this campaign, including one away to Mexico?  Not too shabby.  With some question marks still surrounding the defensive unit, it’s nice to have someone reliable between the sticks.
  • Definitely think that was a penalty on Maurice Edu when he took out Javier Aquino late in the game.  Despite massive protests by the Mexican players, it wasn’t called.  It’s surprising to see the U.S. get the benefit of the doubt on a call like that on the road.
  • The U.S. has to do a better job maintaining possession and creating chances.  The Yanks were lucky that poor touches and off-target passing in the midfield didn’t result in a Mexico goal.  They can’t afford to give the ball away so much.  That said, it’s near impossible to create any decent opportunities when you can’t hang onto the ball.  The U.S. only managed one shot and didn’t force Ochoa to make a single save or big play.  The off-ball movement going forward was lacking and often midfielders didn’t have much of an passing option.
  • I was surprised to see Javier Hernandez miss a couple golden opportunities in front of the net.  Those are the kind of goals he regularly scores for Manchester United and it was odd to see him go so off target from three yards out.
  • The U.S. defense bent, but didn’t break.  Despite coming under significant pressure towards the end of the match, the U.S. defense managed to keep Mexico at bay.  For an inexperienced back line (with the except of Beasley), this was a huge performance.  To come into a place like the Azteca and earn a shutout will definitely give them confidence going forward.  Omar Gonzalez is looking much more confident and Matt Besler did a decent job in place of the injured Clarence Goodson.  Beasley looked a step too slow against Aquino down the flank, but Mexico was never able to take advantage.

What did you think?

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USA announces final World Cup roster

26 May

Well, the U.S. certainly picked an odd way to announce the final World Cup squad, but that’s beside the point.  The only selection that really raised my eyebrows was Robbie Findley, who got the nod (presumably) over Brian Ching.  He’s never really impressed me that much. 

There’s also been a lot of derision directed towards Jonathan Bornstein, but I don’t think he’s that bad.  He just needs to work on his consistency (and work on it fast).  As a whole, the defense will need to improve dramatically (and get healthy) before June 12.  Otherwise, it could be a short World Cup.

Gooch saw his first game action in seven months against the Czech Republic last night and looked understandably shaky, especially on the Czech’s tying goal.  I don’t think there was ever any doubt that he would make the squad.  He adds a large, physical presence that the U.S. clearly lacks when he’s not in the game.

It’s the first World Cup for 15 of the 23 players.  That’s slightly scary, but most of the starters have at least some World Cup experience.  Landon Donovan, DaMarcus Beasley and Steve Cherundolo will be playing in their third cup. 

Goalies: Tim Howard, Brad Guzan, Marcus Hahnemann

Defenders: Carlos Bocanegra, Jonathan Bornstein, Jay DeMerit, Jonathan Spector, Oguchi Onyewu, Steve Cherundolo, Clarence Goodson

Midfielders: Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey, DaMarcus Beasley, Maurice Edu, Ricardo Clark, Stuart Holden, Michael Bradley, Benny Feilhaber, Jose Torres

Forwards: Jozy Altidore, Robbie Findley, Edson Buddle, Herculez Gomez

Team USA’s 30-man roster

11 May

Here’s the preliminary roster for team USA.  Charlie Davies did not make the cut, so that’s got to be disappointing for him.  In all honesty though, it’s not that shocking given he hasn’t played in a match since October.  That’s almost eight months.  Granted, Gooch has been out of action for approximately the same amount of time, but he’s back at game fitness already.  Plus, he’s a rock in the back and the U.S. will definitely need him. 

There’s really no surprises from Bob Bradley.  No one was excluded that should have made it and I don’t think there are any shocking inclusions.  Everyone knows who the starters will be, but the battle for the final roster spots will be intense in the next few weeks.

GOALKEEPERS: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Marcus Hahnemann (Wolverhampton)

DEFENDERS: Carlos Bocanegra (Rennes), Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover), Jay DeMerit (Watford), Clarence Goodson (IK Start), Chad Marshall (Columbus Crew), Oguchi Onyewu (AC Milan), Heath Pearce (FC Dallas), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United)

MIDFIELDERS: DaMarcus Beasley (Rangers), Alejandro Bedoya (Örebro), Michael Bradley (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Benny Feilhaber (Aarhus), Stuart Holden (Bolton), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew), José Torres (Pachuca)

FORWARDS: Jozy Altidore (Villarreal), Edson Buddle (Los Angeles Galaxy), Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo), Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake), Herculez Gomez (Puebla), Eddie Johnson (Aris Thessaloniki)

My final 23 based on the above choices:

Goalkeepers: Howard, Guzan, Hahnemann
Defenders: Bocanegra, Bornstein, DeMerit, Onyewu, Spector, Cherundolo, Marshall
Midfielders: Bradley, Dempsey, Donovan, Edu, Feilhaber, Holden, Torres, Bedoya, Clark
Forwards: Altidore, Buddle, Ching, Gomez

Crazy U.S. news

3 Feb

Well John Terry, your antics may be bold, but the U.S. soccer team did it first.  Apparently, in 1998, long-time captain John Harkes was having an affair with teammate Eric Wynalda’s wife (none of this abortion money stuff though).  Harkes was dropped from the squad because of “leadership issues” just before the World Cup where the team went on to finish dead last.  The last place finish post-captain affair cannot be comforting news to England fans.  However, this is the U.S. we’re talking about – not exactly a soccer powerhouse in 1998.  It does sully my opinion of Harkes though, who I always thought of as a stand-up guy that got screwed by his coach (apparently I had the screwing part mixed up).

In other, much scarier news, DaMarcus Beasley’s car was firebombed in front of his house in Glasgow, Scotland.  The police have said it was “willful fireraising” and are investigating.  Luckily, no one was injured in the incident.