USA 2 Portugal 2; final thoughts before moving on…

I won’t go into great detail like others have about the Portugal game; in my view Matthew Doyle has done an excellent job already (read here).

But when you get to his Point #6 stop and watch that initial video a couple of times and then take a read of this article by Simon Borg – also noting Jeremy Schaap”s question to Michael Bradley and “his” error…

Then consider this…

Not 3-4 minutes before that event there was another event that happened, which most considered was a reasonable move, Omar Gonzalez came in for Graham Zusi…  adding a third Centerback and taking away the outside left midfielder.

Hmmm… 

For me a more relevant question would have been to ask Jurgen Klinsmann what the compelling reason was for substituting Graham Zusi for Omar Gonzalez and what was the intended tactical change to help defend the space that Zusi vacated when leaving the pitch?

Why?

Well for me it’s pretty clear that the space Zusi vacated is the space Ronaldo filled and ultimately used to offer up that brilliant cross…

In closing…

I don’t look at the result of this game as being a glass half-full or half-empty.

I’d prefer to replace the original glass with a smaller glass and consider it a full-glass… Why?

For the simple reason that Klinsmann trotted out a single striker line-up that played anything but a traditional single striker system;  I can’t recall one time where Dempsey was isolated.

There were runs by Fabian, Beasley, Bradley and I even recall seeing Jones play a target forward role later in the game.

A truly superb effort, in the overwhelming heat of the Amazon jungle, and for me, a watermark in the history of American Soccer where the Yanks really have landed as a team who can and will alter a style to suit their own particular needs!

Mistake aside on the Gonzalez substitution – Klinsmann has this team working; this team and country belong at the World Cup and belong in the final 16, but the brutal fact about this game is no-one, not any team at any time, is entitled to win – the game must be played.

Just ask Spain, England and the others who have already failed to move on..

Best, Chris

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