Since taking over as the U,Champ Bailey Youth Jersey.S. men’s national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann has faced more and more questions over the direction of the program with goals rare and wins even rarer. But the Red,Tim Tebow Youth Jersey, White and Blue picked the perfect time, the last game of 2011, to score three goals and bring a win home from European soil but what did we learn from the match?
Edson Buddle – In his first start of the Klinsmann era, Edson Buddle made the most of his opportunity. The Ingolstadt striker was dangerous up front (probably more effective than regular starter Jozy Altidore) in a two striker formation and knocked home the opening goal with a fine strike from outside the box.
Is Bradley back to being a regular in midfield? What about a new to the team Fabian Johnson? Where do they all fit with Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, and the hopeful return of Stuart Holden and Jose Torres? And what about the sudden rise of Brek Shea, where does he fit in?
by David Fleenor
Clarence Goodson needs to become a more physical presence in the center of face getting pushed out of a starting role.
Buddle also showed good moments breaking down defense to center dangerous ball as well as holding possession of the ball in the central third.
But the questions and the consequences for answering them incorrectly will only become more important with the turning of the calendar.
But the Chievo Verona midfielder might have found his new lease on life under the eye of Klinsmann and out of the right flank,Pat Angerer Colts Jersey. Bradley had more attacking freedom on the flank and showed well with good services into the box and link up play with the midfield and forwards. And without an officially tally, appeared to play more balls forward than backwards…a huge and positive play in the right direction.
Michael Bradley – Bradley has frequently been the fall guy for when the U.S. does not play well over the past 2 years. The central midfielder under previous coach, his father, Bob Bradley, was a little too defensive minded in his role with some questioning whether his position was reserved in the starting XI due to merit or birthright.
Carlos Bocanegra has been a stalwart to the defense for a decade and earned his 100th cap on Tuesday but let’s face it; a defender’s glory days usually don’t come after they hit the century mark.
And as an added benefit, Bradley’s corner kicks were dangerous, probably more dangerous than some recent set pieces from regular taker Landon Donovan, and was responsible for setting up the second goal of the night off a Clint Dempsey’s header.
The second goal came after a flurry for the home side that saw two balls off the woodwork and frustratingly the inability of the defenses to clear the ball much past the 18-yard box.
End of 2011 – The end of 2011 is probably coming at the perfect time for Jurgen Klinsmann. Right when his critics questions were becoming the loudest, the former German international’s side knocked in 3 goals, the first time that many goals were scored in 25 matches, and grabbed a win on European soil, still not an everyday event.
The Defense – The one reliable aspect of many U.S. teams, the defense, continues to show problems, youthful inexperience, whatever you want to call it. Tim Matavž scored the opener after getting in behind the U.S. and beating Tim Howard on a 1 v 1. There were calls from defenders, maybe correct ones for an offiside call, but it was the second time in the first half a player was able to run clear through the center of the U.S. defense,Trent Cole Jersey.
HAVE YOUR SAY…What are the questions facing Klinsmann and the U.S. national team heading into 2012? And more importantly what are your answers to those questions? Express your feelings below.
There are as many questions about the defense but not many positive answers. Who steps in at central defense to give the unit some cohesion? How do you find the middle ground between outside defenders joining the attack and doing their primary job…defending?
And to make the task of the back four that much more difficult, the primary defensive midfielder, Kyle Beckerman was nowhere to be found for much of the game.
Was Buddle the difference up front? Was it the two striker frontline? Or a combination of both? Who else should be given a chance to factor up front,Wes Welker Jersey?
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Fabian Johnson – In his first start for the U.S,Frank Zombo Jersey., the new-found American has settled in well to the lineup. The Hoffenheim midfielder was cool and composed on the left flank and worked well with fellow German American Timothy Chandler working behind him, the midfield, and Buddle. He set up the game winning PK after some great combination play worked him into the box. And he set the tone early with a strike that forced the Slovenia goalkeeper to make a save.
Fortunately, Tim Howard is still the #1 and playing at a high level that even with better competition, which scarily there is not much at the moment, he would be the man between the sticks. Let’s hope U.S. soccer fans are wishing for a healthy Howard this holiday and that will check off one question from the Klinsmann list heading into 2012.