Sunday, June 28, 2009

Bob and LD on the Final

Here's what U.S. MNT head coach Bob Bradley and midfielder Landon Donovan had to say after the tough loss. Let us know your thoughts after the game.

U.S. head coach Bob Bradley

On the match:
“It was a tough one. Obviously, a good first half, but we give up the first goal so early in the second half that we put ourselves in a tough spot.”

On giving up a goal so early in the second half:
“That really hurt. But again, Fabiano just makes a good turn and I think it goes through DeMerit’s legs. It’s just a tough one to take so early in the half.”

On how proud he is of his team:
“Extremely proud. We continue to try to move ourselves forward. Playing these kinds of games only helps, but it still feels pretty lousy to let this one get away.”

On if the result earns a new respect for U.S. Soccer:
“I hope so. I think people around the world see that we have a good team, we have good players and hopefully we can continue to step forward.”

U.S. midfielder Landon Donovan

On giving up the 2-0 lead:
“Yeah, we’re disappointed. To give up the goal so fast in the second half hurts. Give them credit. They kept coming wave after wave and they probably deserved it in the end.”

On facing a relentless Brazilian attack:
“It’s difficult. You look around at their players and your realize why they are worth so much and why they play at the teams they play, but it’s disappointing when we gave such a good effort today.

On his goal:
“Ricardo played me a good pass it in the middle. I gave it to Charlie and he did a good job getting it back to me and then I just did the rest from there.”

On if the USA’s run in the tournament gained respect for U.S. Soccer:
“Hopefully, but we’re at the point where we don’t want respect, we want to win. There’s no guarantee that we ever get back to a final game like this so it’s disappointing.”


Chris said...

A big thank you to all of our players for turning your tournament around and making the soccer world take notice. Very proud to have this group represent the USA. Tremendous effort in the face of a lot of doubt and scrutiny.

I feel awful for our guys, I know they are - like all athletes - their own biggest critics and are very disappointed right now.

I'm going to keep my critical comments to a minimum; however, this game epitomized why the "score, bunker back, and pray" approach we use rarely works, despite the outcome of the Spain game. Tactically, we play phenomenal soccer for 30 minutes and then regress to long-ball soccer and rarely retain possession. Against opponents the quality of Brazil, that will rarely work (see their 3 goals in one half). And I don't blame our boys for this.

US Soccer achieved a new feat by advancing this far but Dempsey's tears go to show that is a hollow accolade to this group.

I really hope lessons will be learned and team management will take note of what isn't working and make changes.

With that said, I'm very proud of our boys. GO USA!!!!

Geoff said...

I have to say, although I think that the team made some mistakes in the second half, they really took the world stage in football(soccer), and no longer have anything to prove. They can win against the big boys, and they've transitioned from a team that we hope will not get beaten badly to a team that we hope will beat them badly.

Ryan Weiss said...

Will the US move up at all in the FIFA rankings?

Pedro Sampaio said...

good effort guys.

mcadaal said...

The U.S. became a different team towards the end of this tourney. They believe in themselves now. That is all I could ask for.

Jonathan said...

All I can say is I am proud. Proud of all the guys. Go USA!

sally.holec said...

Hey guys, hold your heads high. We came out ahead of Italy, Egypt and SPAIN. I am so proud of you!!

I know you're broken hearted, but nobody expected you to make it out of the group, remember. Great job!!! And you did give one of the greatest teams in the world a run for their money. I'm so unbelievably proud. You should be too!

Andrew W said...

Very disappointed that we didn't get the win, but you have to admire our guys for showing a tremendous amount of grit and heart. In this country we are not just fighting to win games but to win respect for a country that treat soccer like a 2nd rate sport. As far as looking at the US's peformance at an international level I would say we gained a little more respect in the eyes of superior teams. To single out a few guys on the team who have awesome tournaments were Tim Howard (who in my opinion is a Top 3 goalie in the world), Gooch, DeMerit, Spector, Landon, and totally redeeming his prior performances Clint Dempsey. Let's hope US Soccer can build off this momentum and not just qualify and show up for the World Cup, but win some games and get to the knockout stage. We must advance out of the group stage in next year's World Cup. After all that is the tournament that really matters.

Courtney said...

The whole team was amazing! Great job this tourney! You deserve all our respect and accolades.

i like tuesday said...

I have some constructive criticism to offer, but there's not really any point right now. I'm very pleased with our performance the last two games but if we've really taken the next step we're closing out that final, despite the goal early in the second half.

Hopefully the US can top CONCACAF qualifying and our performance will make FIFA finally think twice before making Mexico the seeded team from our region yet again. That would be the lasting impact of this tournament.

AdamTheRed said...


It was a helluva match.

Godspeed in the road ahead.

davidm said...

Agree with everything Chris said. Also want to add that I really can't understand our substitutions. Just don't get the point of putting on the field Bornstein, Klestjan, and Casey. Don't know if Klestjan made even one pass that wasn't intercepted.

drew_brown said...

Great job boys! You got your break you made us proud! All of America was watching today and excited about the prospects the future of US Soccer will bring.

Ryan Ehmke said...

Good tournament. Good effort today. As a team, we need to hold the ball better if we are going to compete with the world's best. That is the only thing missing right now, the ability to hold the ball. If all 11 players are not comfortable on the ball you can't win against teams like Brazil. That being said, I am proud of the U.S. players and think this experience will serve them well in the World Cup next year.

Ali said...

Great work, boys! Hold your heads up high. How does it feel to look down the final standings of the 2009 Confederations Cup and see Spain and Italy??? We're sooooo proud of you!

Brandon said...

On if the result earns a new respect for U.S. Soccer:
“I hope so. I think people around the world see that we have a good team, we have good players and hopefully we can continue to step forward.”

I'll tell you what we saw: We saw a coach that can not possibly hold his own at this level of competition. It is insulting, frustrating, and disgusting to see poor substitutions and poor coaching mentality. How could you possibly think that hunkering down against Brazil is a good idea. It was heart and passion that put the team where it was, not coaching skill. Don't mistake the two.


Tee said...

I am very proud of the American team for their grit and determination. I never expected the U.S. to win, but hoped it would be close if they played the game we saw against Egypt and Spain. They brought it for 45 minutes and that's at least part of the improvement I wanted to see. Thanks for making us all care.

greenscreenwriter said...

When Landon Donovan was being interviewed, I saw for the first time the haunted look of a champion defeated. Because we could very well have been champions yesterday, and thank you to the US Men's National Team for putting up such a brilliant and inspiring effort.

While the loss was disappointing, the realization that this team can win and hold their own at the international level is tremendous.

If the goal of this tournament was to get out of the group stage, you succeeded.
If the goal was to beat the number one ranked team in the world, you succeeded.
If the goal was to get to the final round, you succeeded.
If the goal was to score more than once during the run of play against Brazil and make them fight their hardest, you succeeded.
If you wanted more people back home to pay attention that never did before, you succeeded.

You didn't win this time, but it certainly doesn't mean that you'll never be back to fight again. That haunted look in Landon's face and the strength and determination of this team will make sure of it.

Army of Dad said...

Why not Torres instead of Sasha and Adu instead of Casey?

We needed possession and at this point Sasha doesn't provide that. When Casey came on we needed a goal and for me, Adu is the better bet to take someone on and make something good happen in a short time. His supposed defensive liabilities do not matter when you trail by a goal in the final!

Love The Smell Of Burning Vuvuzela said...

Looking forward to seeing some of those high-class U.S. Soccer videos you guys do.

So gather up all those memory cards and hurry yourselves to the editing room!

TCamp13 said...

Once i saw Sacha about to come on i knew we won't win. that is sad to say but that is when it hit me that we just don't have the subs required to take a hit from a red card and come back from it.

muchadu said...

Great effort Team USA! The one thing we need now is depth! Bringing on Connor Casey and Klestjen did absolutely nothing for us. To not let Adu play the last 10-15 minutes is insulting to him as his offensive skill is 10 times greater than Casey and Sasha put together. Adu needs to start every Gold Cup match and show Bradley what he is capable of doing.

AdamTheRed said...

What the heck did Torres do to Bob?!

numi said...

A good effort but letdown by poor management. Noone is telling me that the best option off the bench was Klestjan. Did he complete a pass? Woeful.

Bradley has been promoted to his level of incompetence and must go.

muchadu said...

Here is my comment from last friday.And when the Philistine arose, and was coming, and drew nigh to meet David, David made haste, and ran to the fight to meet the Philistine. 49 And he put his hand into his scrip, and took a stone, and cast it with the sling, and fetching it about, struck the Philistine in the forehead, and he fell on his face upon the earth. 50 And David prevailed over the Philistine, with a sling and a stone, and he struck, and slew the Philistine. Coach B your sling adu and your stone altidore. PAIR THEM AND WATCH THE PHILISTINE FALL! Go Team USA 6/29/09 Freddy in the last 15 minutes could have made the difference in the Final! The only guy off the bench that could have created havoc and a historic upset.

Anonymous said...

The US didn't bunker down in the second half as a matter of strategy, they just pooped out. It wasn't coaching, it was skill and talent.

The problem US soccer faces is rooted in the fact that our best athletes don't play soccer. The slowest corner or receiver in the NFL is three steps faster than the fastest player on the US national team.

Can you imagine if Adrian Peterson played soccer? Reggie Bush? Randy Moss? Dwayne Wade? Derrick Rose? No one could touch us.

1. We need to sell the game to our best athletes--that means moving middle school and high school soccer from the fall to the spring, so as not to compete with football.

2. US soccer needs to reach out to the communities and high schools that have a history of producing professional grade, and D1 college grade athletes, and convince those athletes to pick soccer as their spring sport. One way to do that is to explain that there are a TON more opportunities to play professional soccer (all over Europe, plus the US) than there are pro football, basketball, or baseball.

3. We need to establish D1 men's soccer programs at every BCS conference school, to further incentivize players at the middle school and high school level. Currently, only about half the schools in the Big Ten have varsity men's soccer, NO schools in the Big 12 have it, and not every school in the Pac Ten has it, either.

Even USC doesn't have varsity men's soccer. This is a disgrace.

Establishing new men's college programs will be extremely difficult because of Title IX rules, and because of the poor economy, but we have to figure it out. The US won't be able to breach the top tiers of the sport until we do.

Your thoughts?

jakob said...

Excellent run by the USA!! but i do have to question Bob Bradley's subs! i know those two guys are his favorites but they have not been in form for there club or the US. why not try Jose Fransisco Torres who plays amazing in pachuca??!!!?? he didn't even get a minute of play time dude!! why did sasha deserve it...he's done nothing for the USA. don't forget that without the injuries bob would have never came up with that lineup. happy at USA...disappointed at Bob's subs and the time he decided to do it!!!!

sharky gomez said...

@ Brandon: great comments!

@ Benjamin: nice, but misguided.

We have plenty of capable athletes right now; the problem is finding a capable coach, who can help this team reach its potential. Actually, a competent coach would probably have a different team, but I digress.

I found it interesting just before kickoff, that Brazil had its entire TEAM on the pitch for the pre-game photo. Sure, Dunga may have asked them to do it, but most likely, he didn't. They just knew to do it.

This is where strong leadership and experience leads you.

The Spain game, and the first half of the final, showed what this team can do IN SPITE of Bob they finished the final is what we are coming to expect from him. I know, I know, the players play the game. But that's hard to do when you have a coach leading you in the wrong direction.

How many times did we hear John Harkes comment on how much more effective Dempsey was when playing up front, yet Bradley always seemed ignorant of this? Also, why are you putting a player in a serious funk confidence-wise into such a big game?! This isn't the environment to hope Klejstan breaks through, and a capable coach would know that.

A capable coach would have seen the much-needed ball handling skills from Torres and put him in from Day 1 of the tournament. At the least, he wouldn't have kept him off the field in this tournament, only to leave him off the roster for the next (no Gold Cup appearance?!)

A capable coach would not tolerate the complete lack of discipline this team shows in terms of cards. You can say all you want about the refs having it in for the US, but a well-disciplined team doesn't put itself in that situation to begin with. The only "professional" yellow I saw us receive was Bocanegra's in the final, and even he has a tendency to play a little too loose.

I've never been a big fan of Onyewu, and I have to say I was extremely impressed by his growth in maturity on the field...maybe he's learned from all of his past cards...he's turning the corner in my book. But that's his growth more than anything else, I would bet.

There are serious issues that need to be addressed in terms of team and federation management, and I do mean that this goes all the way to the top. As long as US Soccer is led by Gulati, we can continue to expect the same leadership on the field that we do now. A person with minimal power and credentials, who won't overstep the bounds that Gulati will insist on. I'm not necessarily saying Klinnsman would have won us a trophy, but I bet we'd have a much stronger team, and the Spain victory wouldn't have been such a "Fluke, unexpected result".

...two cents

zeroalmeida said...

I'm Brazilian with US Citizenship. It was a weird feeling to watch this game. 1st Half I was like "darn it.. is Brazil going to lose this game??"... 2nd half I was like: "Darn, how come US National Team is going to miss such great opportunity??"... I was confused :-) Have to tell you what the Brazilians have told to the Brazil's media after the game (Kaka, Robinho, Julio Cesar, Lucio, etc)"US National Team has made Brazil's accomplishment even more valuable. US Soccer is really at the same level of any other super power Soccer Nation. We are impressed". I personally think US Soccer has moved up to the next level. I'm looking forward for the World Cup. My dream is to see Brazil and US again (in the final?? Wow..why not). But this time, I really want US to win. Bradley has done a great job. He is very detail. Great coach. Amazing Coach indeed. Go USA

shubbz said...

greenscreenwriter, love your comment = )