Hex-bound and Down

Great crowd, solid performance

The US National team needed some last minute heroics last Friday night to beat Antigua & Barbuda 2-1.  That, along with a number of head-scratcher choices by Coach Juergen Klinsmann had us nervous going into the final game of this round of World Cup Qualifying against Guatemala.

Then Juergen didn’t call up any additional players – despite a number of injuries and suspensions.  But we had a very solid outing against Guatemala in Kansas City, winning 3-1, moving the team into the Hexagonal – the final round of qualifying for Brazil 14.

The two best players on the field – Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey, put their stamp on the game and helped control the tempo (but only after giving up a sloppy first goal to longtime villain, Carlos Ruiz).  Eddie Johnson continued his return-of-the-GAM routine;  Graham Zusi and Herculez Gomez hustled, combined well, and moved without the ball.  Cherundolo and Parkhurst were solid on the outside.  Danny Williams made a real case to be the starting defensive midfielder moving forward.

The USA played the high pressure and possession style Klinsmann has been talking about for over a year and looked impressive doing it.  Except for the centerback pairing of Cameron and Bocanegra…  So we’re left wondering – are we progressing into a team that can play possession?  Has this new emphasis hurt the old bunker-and-counter game?  Who will feature in the upcoming January MLS and Scandinavian training camp and friendlies (Camp Strudel)?  What will the depth chart look like when the Hex begins next March?

In that vein, we submit a list of stuff. Twenty items for Juergen to consider and work on over the next five months… Continue reading