By Mark Vincent Lincir
It would have been so easy for Coach Bob Bradley to put out a legitimate lineup that would have BEATEN Ghana.
But no, he couldn’t do that, because he had to go back to the guys that he and his staff thought were their best eleven.
And they were WRONG!
How does Robbie Findley get back on the field as a starter? What was Ricardo Clark doing in there instead of Maurice Edu?
This is were coaching matters…this is where Coach Bob earns his pay…and HE BLEW IT! Everybody I was watching the game knew it once we saw the starting lineup and there wasn’t an “A” licensed coach amongst us.
So how can we all know it was wrong but the guy in charge doesn’t? Because Bob Bradley is not the right guy. I’ve been saying that for years and will never change my tune. When asked point blank after the game about his starting lineup, he skirted it and mumbled and bumbled and finally finished with It is what it is at this point.
It is what it is. For a guy that many people consider this calculating soccer savant…that phrase said it all.
It was what it was because of HIM!
He can’t make it sound like he had nothing to do with what happened. He ruined the United States’ chances of advancing to the quarterfinals to face a beatable Uruguay (if we played well and coach Bob wasn’t coaching)…but our side of the bracket made the semifinals look within reach.
It was not to be because the United States coach did not put his team in the best position to get a positive result…FROM THE BEGINNING!
And for that, he should be fired. Here is a coach whose team is KNOWN FOR getting behind early and digging itself out of jams. That is his squad’s calling card. Is that something to be proud of? Absolutely not! It might make for great television, but it’s not the way you compete in big-time international competitions.
I have been saying for a long time that Benny Feilhaber belongs no the field anytime the United States plays…but for Coach Bob, he gets second half minutes when Bob’s starter doesn’t work out.
Nobody thought Robbie Findley deserved to get back on the field after two horrible starts…but sure enough, there he is! Who is keeping Coach Bob in check so he can’t make these stupid decisions that cost us games? Nobody. He can do what he wants, the same way that Bruce Arena did for eight years.
Kevin Prince Boateng’s goal in the 5th minute set an ominous tone early on and I think everybody knew that another miracle comeback was NOT in the cards. Give Ghana credit, they are a good team who possessed the ball all night long while the U.S. chased. Bornstein at left back was another Coach Bob experiment, and though he didn’t do horribly, he had no business being on the preliminary 30 man roster if you ask me. It goes to show you how good our identification process is running in the United States.
300 million people and not a single legitimate left back…supposedly. They’re out there, it’s just that the brain trust isn’t finding them and does that really surprise anybody when we keep going back to the group that is in charge.
And by the way, Clint Dempsey is twice the player that Landon Donovan is. Sure, Landon got his timely goals and his penalty kick today. But he hides too much and doesn’t do enough in the run of play to have a steady impact on games, which is what we need and expect out of him. Things always seem to work out for him, but that to will fade. Pay attention to Fulham’s Clint Dempsey, he will be headed to bigger and better places.
Getting to the second round out of a group we were favored to advance out of is not a miracle. We went to the second round in 1994 after beating a very highly touted Columbia squad and lost to Brazil. In 2002 we beat Portugal in group play en route to a quarterfinal appearance against Germany and were robbed by a no handball call there.
We’ve been there and done it…you just might not have been paying attention. The endings of some of the U.S. games have been fantastic and the team keeps you on the edge of your seat and that’s great…but we don’t possess the ball because players that can do it like Benny Feilhaber or Freddy Adu either don’t start or don’t even make the team!
Everybody you talk to will tell you that U.S. Soccer doesn’t know how to handle exceptional players with great individual skill who can create things…case in point Feilhaber and Freddy Adu…but they love workers like Michael Bradley and Clark. You need a balance of both, and until our coaches stop being scared of gifted players and learn how to work with them, we’ll always be limited in how far the U.S. can go in international competition.
The time for a coaching change is now. Don’t give Bob four more years for getting us to the World Cup (ANYBODY CAN DO THAT) and then squeaking into the second round out of one of the easiest groups in the tournament and then getting dominated by an old foe who kicked us out the tournament four years ago.
Bring in Jurgen Klinsmann and give him everything he wants. Under Klinsmann, we’ll see Maurice Edu, Freddy Adu and Benny Feilhaber play together in a midfield with Landon and Dempsey more than just once or for a few minutes.
The team will have to lift their individual performances as well as their tactical knowledge. Bob’s boys got us as far as they could. Now it’s time for a change at the top and in the mix, because even though it looked good…it wasn’t nearly good enough.
CHECK OUT THE PHOTOS OF THESE DIE-HARD U.S SOCCER FANS…they would have gladly helped Coach Bob pick the proper starting lineup. Dennis Ortiz, manager at the Dirty Drummer in Chandler, Arizona and Papa Joe Lazzara of Papa Joe’s Barbershop in Chandler show that it’s never to late to get committed to the cause.
Mark Vincent Lincir is the Editor-In-Chief of www.90soccer.com he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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