USA v. Panama: Wait, Was That Freddy Adu?

Yes, the US beat Panama, the team who beat the US in group play.   Yes, Freddy Adu came up with a little bit of magic (very little) which has diehard Adu fans salivating.  Yes, the US moved into the final, which is where they should be.

But no, my opinion is still completely the same.  Bob Bradley appeared not use 4-4-2, mostly because with Altidore’s injury, he didn’t have 2 forwards he could start with.  Yes, Freddy Adu came up with a great pass, but that is more of an indictment of Bradley’s stubborn refusal to use him all tournament rather than a tactical masterstroke.  Especially when Bradley started Sasha Kljestan over Landon Donovan?!?  (I am not Donovan fan, and he has really underwhelmed at this tournament, but come on, Kljestan over Donovan?)

The US is not heading in the right direction.  Even if we beat Mexico, which is highly unlikely, the program is stagnant and stale.  I have lost faith in my team.  Until Bob Bradley goes, my hope for the future is on strike.

But I’ve said my piece many times now.  What do you think?

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5 responses to “USA v. Panama: Wait, Was That Freddy Adu?

  1. To be quite honest, you’re taking it a little too far, I think we all have bad memories with Bob, for instance Ghana and Panama of course. I admit a couple days ago I almost stopped watching soccer but after I came to my senses and realized I was being a buffoon, I came to see that Bobbo is that bad of a coach and for some reason us, usmnt fans are way to quick to jump ship. Bob has carried us to places we’ve never been before, sure hes made some tactical decisions that were poor and than there is the favoritism, but there is also the inspiration, mystery and of course the “never give up” attitude that the U.S is so famous for.

    Also my friend you can’t just blame the coach. When it comes to finishing we are flat out poor, also speaking of offense we barely exposed Panama in the first half, in fact only when my man “the comeback kid” Freddy Adu came on did we really put the pressure on and in turn score the goal. I never gave up on Freddy and while he hasn’t made a complete comeback and we shouldn’t all start jumping on the return of Freddy Adu band wagon, he certainly had a fantastic game and was without a doubt the best player when he came on in the 66′ minute until the end of the game, Adu really brought it and added that much needed spark and really opened up Panama, also kept the ball in Panama’s half in the closing minutes. And thats what we’ve been missing that Freddy Adu, that guy who has without a doubt even at his lowest has the best ball skills on the team, that devastating passing and not to mention has a knack for scoring a goal or two i.e Wesley Sneijder. Now Adu clearly isn’t in the same ball park as Sneijder but thats the kind of player Freddy is and if he does make his return who knows where he’ll be.

    Now on to Landycakes, well my friend Bob Bradley was simply trying to send a message to Landon. If you play like crap, expect to get benched even if you’re Landon Donovan. Sacha played better than Donovan so far in this tournament, I really got to hand it to him, I was pretty mad when I saw Sacha on the list I would much rather have Mikkel Diskerud, but I’ll give him some props he’s had a good tournament. Today’s game was a poor showing by him, but I think it was a good choice benching Landon and I was happy that he did. Landon obviously got the message because he stepped up his game and took Freddy’s wonderful ball to his feet and set up Deuce for the game winner, and played pretty well when he came on. So while you take it as a blunder it was in fact a very good tactical decision that paid off.

    Panama played well today but to be honest we should have crushed them, and I can see you have some displaced anger, but I hope this article may have calmed you down a bit a opened your eyes. Some positives in the game were that we held possession very well, we played great defensively and we have some options offensively moving forward to the final this Saturday. Donovan has seen the light…hopefully, Agudelo played very well and troubled the Panamanian defense needs to finish but we’ll forgive him hes still young, Dempsey will make sure he never has another Guadeloupe game and will make the most of every opportunity, Bedoya continues to play well and Adu is possibly in the midst of making the come back we’ve been waiting oh so long for and we might finally be able to silence the average American when they asked Whatever happened to Freddy Adu? whenever someone mentions soccer or better yet football.

    We really have to see what happens but I wouldn’t be surprised if we pulled off a victory and were the team that was left holding the trophy in Pasadena. I like Bob’s new formation he’s finally utilizing our mid field which has a lot of depth to it. We’ve keep better possession, our defense is sound, Cherendulo and Lichaj have done brilliantly getting forward and getting back of course, and for the first time in a long while I’m confident with our offense and I think will score some goals. Also no matter who we face (most likely Mexico) I think the U.S will be a much a better team than we’ve seen thus far and we’ll come out fairly strong and being that I’m an optimist especially since Adu played so well today, I feel like this Gold Cup will have taught us future lessons and we’ll be a top team in the near future because of it. My last statement about being a top team in the near future is really optimistic and is more of hope than an idea. Anyway these are my thoughts, I hope it gave you some insight.

    Sincerely,

    Jason B

  2. I don’t just blame the coach. I have mentioned a few times that the players are definitely at fault for the sloppy and listless performances. But I also believe when there are repeated patterns, when some kind of internal rot sets it, the coach is either at fault for causing it or not fixing/preventing it. You call it a never give up attitude, but I see it as a “never should have been in this situation to begin with.”

    As for places Bradley has taken us, I’m not exactly sure where those places are. The Confederations Cup finals? I mean I guess that okay, but that is just a fancy exhibition tournament. Otherwise, he hasn’t done anything that other managers haven’t done before.

    You are right that the team should have crushed Panama. The sign of a mediocre team is that they play to their opponent’s level, which the US does over and over again. And let’s be honest, Mexico may be the other big kid on the block, but on the world stage, they are woefully lacking. To get to the next level, beating Mexico regularly–including at the Azteca–is not just required, but expected. (And as of this writing it may not be Mexico. It is 0-0 going into extra time.)

    I am also not convinced that Kljestan has played particularly well this tournament. His ball skills are rather poor for an international player. Dononvan has not been good, but Kljestan shouldn’t have even made the squad.

    I have not drunk the Freddy Adu Kool-Aid. Yes, he had 15 great minutes, but a match is 90. It is far more telling to me that he plays in the 2nd Division in Turkey than that he was responsible for one goal. When he lifts his regular game, then we can talk about him.

    Finally, I also disagree about USMNT fans being quick to jump ship. Read the press in other countries; managers rarely even get half a match before someone is calling for their head. US fans are remarkably patient. We have had to suffer with Bob Bradley since 2006. The U-20’s didn’t make the U-20 World Cup. Youth development in this country is a disaster. The best potential US players are choosing to play for other countries. And the team, despite making the finals of the Gold Cup, the weakest competition outside Oceania, have played extremely poorly. To me this is the straw that broke the camel’s back. We need change now.

    Having said all that . . .

    Thanks for posting though. I really appreciate it, even if we disagree on the team.

    • I feel like with Bob, that what happens a lot is that he continues with something that has won games in the past, but doesn’t anticipate the fact that it might not work against all teams or that its not working anymore. And sure its all good and well when he develops of a different strategy (which he has and it works fairly well) but why wasn’t this 4-2-3-1 deployed earlier? I think thats a legitimate question to ask and one of the problems with Bob, is he just over uses players and he over uses tactics. Personally I’d rather have Jurgen Klinsmann, but all-in-all I don’t think Bradley is that bad.

      And as for where Bob has taken us, well we led our group in the World Cup with a squad that wasn’t 100% prepared, We knocked Spain off there ladder, we almost won the Gold Cup with a “C-team”, We had a winning streak against Mexico where they physically could not beat us and we consistently contend with even our toughest opponents, among other things. I think Bob has done pretty well for himself as a coach, no I didn’t want him for another cycle but I think he’s had a pretty good tenure and he wasn’t the worst person to be appointed to be quite honest. Oh and as for beating Mexico at the Azteca thats a little easier said than done, beating Mexico isn’t the problem, its beating the stadium, now I know it might seem like a classic excuse, but as you’ve said Mexico “woefully lack on a world stage”, they’ve only lost ONE time at the Azteca, they’ve beaten Brazil twice in the same tournament, so its not too likely that the U.S will win anytime soon and I’m pretty sure they’re banning the Azteca anyhow.

      As for Mr.Adu I think to play like he did in those 24 minutes after being somewhat of a scrub for the passed 4 or 5 years was quite astounding, especially when most players can’t even get used to the tempo of the game, when they come on in a such a short period and no its not the return just yet, but its certainly a good start.

  3. All very good and sensible comments. USA team lack technical skill and that limits what Bob or any coach can do with the team. All challenging teamns have a world class striker–not the USA…..Adu provided a spark and other than Dempsey, seems to be the only one on the team who challenges and drives at the opponents defense…..agree that U.S. soccer is woefully inadequate — focusing on athleticism and strength to the detriment of technical skill….with this lack of skill USA can only be effective with tough defense and swift counterattacks…..wish it weren’t so…but that’s the truth…wathcing the game against Panama was like watching a slow motion movies…no one or two touch…holding the ball to long….no runs into space…just a game of keepaway…maybe watching doses of Barca can imbed this into USA psyche…..

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