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Notes: U.S. v. Mexico

February 7, 2008

The U.S. team was flat pretty much all game. It was a lucky 2-2 draw. The wings were especially weak. Outside backs Corralles and Moor were attacked mercilessly. Convey was a nonfactor on the left and Donovan disappeared for long stretches last night (perhaps due to defensive duties). Clark and Bradley seemed to be playing the same position; Clark improved when Feilhaber came in for Bradley allowing for better linking. Dempsey was to busy acting as a target forward to show off much of his skills. His strike in the 43rd minute was a beauty despite being called back for offside.

There were several bright spots on the team despite the uneven effort. Bocanegra and Onyewu were solid in the middle; Gooch showed his physical presence scoring a goal off the looping centering ball from Donovan. Altidore He was a handful that Mexico had devote a large amount of attention. He was tightly marked for much of the game, but was still able to create several dangerous chances. His headed goal is just a brief glimpse of his potential.

I have liked bob Bradley’s experimental nature through his first year on the job, but I have some concerns about his game management. The Clark-Bradley pairing did not work that well. I am interested how he will deal with the left and right back situations. We also are very weak at right wing as Donovan is not a good fit there. Perhaps Dempsey can shift back to the wing in front of Steven Cherundelo. There are holes in the U.S. team, but there is two years and plenty of youth to cultivate.

Getting to the World Cup should be straightforward; finishing first in qualifying won’t be. I hope the youth movement will be up to the challenge.

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