US-Holland Fall Out

Overall the US was outmatched by Holland, but they certainly didn’t get played off the field. There have been better US performances but overall the US was well organized defensively and showed flashes of attacking venom throughout the game. But in general the Yanks were slow to open up and launch counterattacks. Instead, the US too often just resorted to aimlessly hoofing the ball up field.

The US was defensively compact throughout the game, ceding much of the possession to the Dutch. But the Dutch did not slice threw the US the way they have other teams and only gotten on the scoreboard due to a catastrophic error by Jonathan Bornstein, who needlessly committed a penalty. The second goal was also fortunate for the Dutch as a deflected shot wrong footed Tim Howard. In the final 20 minutes the US pushed forward with Carlos Bocanegra scoring on an uncontested header off a free kick. Jozy Altidore nearly leveled in extra-time.

However, the game is sort of an after thought following news that Stuart Holden broke his leg after a vicious challenge from Nigel De Jong of Manchester City. Holden is said to miss just six weeks, but time frames for leg breaks are often unreliable and Holden’s World Cup place is now definitely in doubt.

There were some poor performances, with Jonathan Bornstein topping the list. He simply lacks the quality to play at the highest international level. He should have been called for two penalties and he frequently was exposed on the flank. He also doesn’t offer anything going forward, frequently leaving Landon Donovan essentially out to dry on the left.

Speaking of Landon Donovan, he had a very forgettable game and was invisible for most of it. Coach Bradley did move him up top for a portion but he failed to make an impact.

Robbie Findley’s audition for a back up striker role did not go well. Findley looked about naïve and a bit out of sorts. He frequently lost possession when he really should have been able to hold on to the ball, and when he got in dangerous areas his decision-making was poor. He has talent, but he is likely not ready for yet for top level international competition.

Jose Francisco Torres played centrally, but looked like he was chasing the game. He failed to really make much of an impact.

But importantly there were some real positives. The defensive tandem of Bocanegra and Demerit kept the Dutch at bay. Michael Bradley looked very solid in the holding midfield role in the first half and effectively stymied the Dutch. Maurice Edu also impressed when he came on in his ability to close off Dutch attacks. Damarcus Beasley after starting a little slowly playing on the right, was very effective on the left and gave the Dutch problems.

But I think the player who gave us the most reason to hope was Jozy Altidore, who showed flashes of brilliance. He was starved of service but he was a handful and is demonstrating that he can certainly play as a target striker on the international level.


One Response

  1. Max,

    My fear is that Bob Bradley has not learned his lesson. He keeps playing Jonathan Bornstein when he has shown that he is not capable of playing at this level– at least, not yet. Will he ever? Probably but hard to say.

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