Some quick thoughts from last night’s 2-0 USA victory over Mexico:
- This is probably the most important point of all. The USA is better than Mexico. If it wasn’t for Mexico’s ridiculous home field advantage, this would be beyond argument. I think it’s important for all US soccer fans to accept this, so that our reaction after a game like last night isn’t overwhelming joy, but contentment alongside even-handed criticism. We’re the best team in CONCACAF and should expect to beat Mexico now, home or away.
- That being said, Sven Goran Eriksson should be fired. Some of his decisions yesterday were questionable at best. Oswaldo Sanchez starting in the net (That 2nd goal was shit)? Pulling Dos Santos when he was clearly the most dangerous player Mexico had? I’d be shocked if he makes it to the weekend.
- Michael Bradley has pretty much locked up his position in the US midfield for the next 8 years. He gets better with every appearance and last night he was a beast. Two goals, but more impressive is how he dominated the midfield with his smarts and some hardass tackles. There were times when Mexico just looked over matched by him alone. Bravo.
- Donovan is our best player, like it or not, but Dempsey is our most creative. We’ve got to find a way to get him the ball in more dangerous positions. I would suggest the on-the-rise “Christmas Tree” formation, but this leads me to my next point…
- The outside back trials (left-back in particular) are still ongoing. Our outside backs are not skilled enough to play the “attacking wing-back “ role that is so popular these days. They’re not terrible, and I was admittedly impressed by Hejduk last night, but more often than not our attack would grind to a halt when the ball landed at the feet of Hejduk or Pearce. Why not just give our midfield/wingers more offensive freedom?
- All these criticisms aside, it was an overall good performance by the boys in white. We showed that we can build up play through the midfield, we’re still great from set pieces, and we have two solid centerbacks (one or two blunders aside). We’re good, I think people are still getting used to that. Oh, and lay off Brian Ching. Everyone clamors for Altidore to take over his starting role, but Ching plays the targetman role very well…better than Altidore does…for now.