no shame in 2nd place, especially with the work it took to get there. Even if a disappointing result (although i'm encouraged becauase i excpeted the result before the game, but not after the 1st half).
The spain game (defending so much) and lack of depth really caught up w/ us. The red card hurt, fellhapper (in Bradely's position) had a solid first half but dropped off in the second and the guy the subbed in for him was horrid.
I really like this team, they need to work on a number of things though. 1) Their abilty in the air in the front half...don't think we one even 10% of headers in that area. 2) decision making...a lot of silly too quick desicions, especially by clark and davies. 3) recieving passes/first touches....watch brazil if you need to, they keep control of the ball and set everything up with a first touch.
Totally agree with #3 - that was very apparent whenever Brazil would break/counter vs when we would. Very often the USA fast break was lost because of a poor first touch (the notable exception being on our 2nd goal). Hopefully #1 will be remedied next year by a healthy Brian Ching. IMO, he's just a huge key for us, as nobody else is equal to his ability to win the ball in the air & hold up play. A healthy Maurice Edu (Glasgow Rangers) could help concern #2 above also. I envision pairing him with Bradley in the midfield - that would give 2 central midfielders who are well -rounded, with a better ability on the ball/under pressure, who can complete passes (something I never see Klejstan do), and able to make a tackle defensively. Then Clark & Feilhaber would add depth, each give you a little something different.
Feilhaber needs to go to a club where he can play more, same for Altidore and Freddy Adu. It'll be interesting to see if clubs come calling for/are willing to pay transfer fees for Demerit (Watford - played very well 2 years ago before they were relegated) or Onyewu (rumors of bigger clubs every year).
It was a fun little run, but they were obviously out of gas in the 2nd half from defending too much. 31 shots allowed (I think that was the final tally)? That's just a ton - I'm no expert, but that seems like more than I can remember even in and EPL game with one of the big 4 against a team bound for relegation.
I do expect them to qualify, and think that advancing to the round of 16 is a reasonable expectation since this next world cup is not in Europe. Though, unless they change the was they do the draw, there's a strong chace we get the Group of Death (pretty much some combo of a CONCACAF, African and 2 European teams).