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USMNT vs Nigeria - 6pm at Jacksonville (ESPN)

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Posted: 6/7/2014 1:14 PM

USMNT vs Nigeria - 6pm at Jacksonville (ESPN) 


Game preview from espnfc.com...  http://www.espnfc.com/united-s...-final-friendly

forget that closed-door scrimmage against belgium in sao paulo next week.  as far as the u.s. world cup team is concerned, saturday's final send-off match against nigeria in jacksonville, florida, is the last dress rehearsal, the closest the americans will come to the real thing before their world cup campaign kicks off against ghana on june 16.

or so everyone thought.

on the eve of his team's last official game before brazil, manager jurgen klinsmann made it clear that the starting 11 he picks at everbank field probably won't be the one he shows a little more than a week from now for the yanks' group g curtain-raiser in natal.

"we want to continue to fine-tune and improve," klinsmann told reporters at friday's pre-match news conference. "with nigeria, we're talking about a team that will give us hopefully a lot of answers to many of your questions."

like, does he already have a lineup in mind for the opener?

"absolutely every coach has that at this point," klinsmann said. "still, this is why you have these send-off games, to give minutes to players who are right there. so you won't see exactly the lineup [saturday] that we have in mind."

the coach didn't name names, but a particular area of interest personnel-wise will continue to unfold on the left side of the field.

damarcus beasley started at full-back with alejandro bedoya in front of him on may 27 against azerbaijan, but klinsmann replaced them with timmy chandler and brad davis, respectively, in last weekend's 2-1 win over turkey in new jersey.


davis picked up a minor leg ailment during friday's stadium training session that could potentially impact his availability against nigeria, according to reports. but it will be fascinating to see if the coach goes back to chandler, the rangy german-american who had an uneven performance against the turks -- including a late gaffe that lead to the lone goal the yanks conceded.

if it's beasley who gets the call, keeper tim howard, for one, believes he's up the challenge against nigeria -- and beyond.

"i love when beas plays cause he's wiry and he's learned how to defend and he has a presence there because he's so experienced," said howard, who will make his 100th international appearance for the u.s. in saturday's match.

"i feel very confident with damarcus because i've played with him for a long time. there's a certain trust level there."

whoever plays, though, every u.s. starter will be tested.  if the turks were a more formidable foe than the result against the yanks indicated, brazil-bound nigeria is another step up in class.  they were scheduled specifically because their playing style and technical abilities compare favorably to ghana.  but they also bring other elements that will push the americans to their limits.

"They're very fit and physical which is good for us because it will give us a little bit of a wake-up call now," Klinsmann said. "This is what at this point we really need."

Some would also suggest the U.S. needs to settle on a formation. The coach favored a 4-2-3-1 set most of last year, switched to a more aggressive 4-4-2 with a diamond-shaped midfield in each of the Yanks' last three games, then adjusted halfway though last game after Turkey created chance after early chance at Red Bull Arena.

After the break, Klinsmann pulled attacking midfielder Michael Bradley back toward his own goal for added defensive protection. Could we see the same from the beginning Saturday? Klinsmann wouldn't say, instead making the (valid) point that too much emphasis is placed on formations. Either way, it's clear his tinkering is far from done.

"We're still in the building phase," he said. "We still have 10 days to go. We're not done with all the work we've got to put into their legs and into their minds. It will still go on until after the Belgium scrimmage in Sao Paulo."

Last edited 6/7/2014 1:20 PM by GTJT622

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Posted: 6/7/2014 2:22 PM

Re: USMNT vs Nigeria - 6pm at Jacksonville (ESPN) 


I'm curious if Brad Davis has earned his spot at LM even if he doesn't play?
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Posted: 6/7/2014 8:13 PM

Re: USMNT vs Nigeria - 6pm at Jacksonville (ESPN) 


Bradley was amazing.

JOZZZZYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!

Guys looked good today.

They fly to Brazil tomorrow.
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Posted: 6/7/2014 9:42 PM

Re: USMNT vs Nigeria - 6pm at Jacksonville (ESPN) 


Very encouraging performance. Bradley was fantastic and so happy to see Jozy find the back of the net. I really liked the lineup. Bradley always looks better with Beckerman playing behind him and the same was true tonight. With Beckerman as the safety valve both Bradley and Jones have more freedom to wander.

I was surprised that Johannson did not play again. Makes you wonder what his role will be in Brazil after not seeing the field in the last two games.

Last edited 6/7/2014 9:43 PM by tech1997

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Posted: 6/8/2014 12:43 AM

Re: USMNT vs Nigeria - 6pm at Jacksonville (ESPN) 


Timmy Chandler is lookin' mighty fine as of late.
------
“That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.”
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Posted: 6/8/2014 1:12 PM

Re: USMNT vs Nigeria - 6pm at Jacksonville (ESPN) 


I guess I'm the only one concerned about Besler.  He made some boneheaded plays against Azerbajain that good teams will capitalize on.  The penalty in the box last night could have been avoided I think.
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Posted: 6/8/2014 2:09 PM

Re: USMNT vs Nigeria - 6pm at Jacksonville (ESPN) 



GTJT622 wrote: I guess I'm the only one concerned about Besler.  He made some boneheaded plays against Azerbajain that good teams will capitalize on.  The penalty in the box last night could have been avoided I think.
The Azerbaijan game was different - boneheaded as you say. The penalty was given up by breakdowns elsewhere long before he arrived. He just made the desperate attempt. I guess he could have let Howard have his shot, but I don't fault him for trying there.

"Think about how dumb the average guy is.... Then think about the fact that half of the people are dumber than that......

Never argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience" 

- George Carlin

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Posted: 6/8/2014 2:10 PM

Re: USMNT vs Nigeria - 6pm at Jacksonville (ESPN) 


Yes, if Chandler denied the centering pass and Cameron didn't overrun it. Besler was left in no mans land...

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--- GTJT622 wrote:

I guess I'm the only one concerned about Besler.  He made some boneheaded plays against Azerbajain that good teams will capitalize on.  The penalty in the box last night could have been avoided I think.

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Posted: 6/8/2014 2:25 PM

Re: USMNT vs Nigeria - 6pm at Jacksonville (ESPN) 



TBuzz wrote: Yes, if Chandler denied the centering pass and Cameron didn't overrun it. Besler was left in no mans land...

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--- GTJT622 wrote:

I guess I'm the only one concerned about Besler.  He made some boneheaded plays against Azerbajain that good teams will capitalize on.  The penalty in the box last night could have been avoided I think.

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I admit I may be a bit biased because my daughter was an outstanding defensive "sweeper" who was the last line of defense in front of the keeper for many years.  As a parent, I had to watch others make mistakes that she was left one-on-one with, but we always preached don't commit an obvious penalty in the box.  At least force the opponent to beat the keeper behind you.  With Timmy H back there and us up 2-0, I wish he had taken his chances to defend without being so aggressive knowing where he was.  If he's outside the penalty area, then go ahead and chop his legs.  Just seemed unnecessary to me.

I think Beasley is going to start and I'm glad to see it.  He has the experience and respect of his teammates.  He'll set a USMNT record for 4 WC appearances.  He still plays well IMO.

Beckerman and Jones in the game at the same time?  Love it!
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Posted: 6/8/2014 2:49 PM

Re: USMNT vs Nigeria - 6pm at Jacksonville (ESPN) 


Did they excel at "sweeping" the leg?
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Posted: 6/8/2014 2:54 PM

Re: USMNT vs Nigeria - 6pm at Jacksonville (ESPN) 



TBuzz wrote: Did they excel at "sweeping" the leg?
As long as it was outside the penalty area, I had no problem with her doing it.  biggrin

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Posted: 6/8/2014 7:06 PM

Re: USMNT vs Nigeria - 6pm at Jacksonville (ESPN) 


Really liked the 4-2-3-1 with the defensive mids Beckerman and Jones protecting Bradley. It frees up Dempsey on the wing too, I'm just worried that we're not employing a "winger" and virtually nothing came from the edges unless it was Fabian Johnson or Damarcus Beasley coming up. I would almost prefer to see Zusi or Davis instead of Bedoya.
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Posted: 6/8/2014 8:11 PM

Re: USMNT vs Nigeria - 6pm at Jacksonville (ESPN) 


Starting to like our chances more and more day by day.

As has been discussed and agreed upon all, we need to get 3 points against Ghana.  Period.

Ghana hasn't been a good situation for us in past WC's so it's time to tee up a little karma for the Yanks.

Last edited 6/8/2014 8:32 PM by GTJT622

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Posted: 6/8/2014 9:09 PM

Re: USMNT vs Nigeria - 6pm at Jacksonville (ESPN) 



TBuzz wrote: Really liked the 4-2-3-1 with the defensive mids Beckerman and Jones protecting Bradley. It frees up Dempsey on the wing too, I'm just worried that we're not employing a "winger" and virtually nothing came from the edges unless it was Fabian Johnson or Damarcus Beasley coming up. I would almost prefer to see Zusi or Davis instead of Bedoya.
I think Zusi starts. That said, I thought Bedoya was better than he had been. Like Altidore, a little confidence helps. I think this part in the first goal helped him.

"Think about how dumb the average guy is.... Then think about the fact that half of the people are dumber than that......

Never argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience" 

- George Carlin

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Posted: 6/10/2014 8:46 AM

Re: USMNT vs Nigeria - 6pm at Jacksonville (ESPN) 



shipreck wrote:
TBuzz wrote: Really liked the 4-2-3-1 with the defensive mids Beckerman and Jones protecting Bradley. It frees up Dempsey on the wing too, I'm just worried that we're not employing a "winger" and virtually nothing came from the edges unless it was Fabian Johnson or Damarcus Beasley coming up. I would almost prefer to see Zusi or Davis instead of Bedoya.
I think Zusi starts. That said, I thought Bedoya was better than he had been. Like Altidore, a little confidence helps. I think this part in the first goal helped him.
+1. I also have to say, after being highly critical of Jones's performance of late, that I thought he played really well.  I don't know if it was the formation or what, but he looked like a completely different player in this match.
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Posted: 6/10/2014 9:10 AM

Re: USMNT vs Nigeria - 6pm at Jacksonville (ESPN) 


As FYI...in their final friendly in front of 5,000 fans in Dolphins Stadium in Miami, Ghana defeated South Korea 4-0 yesterday.  A sub came off the bench and scored a hat trick.  The Ghanan fans in the stands started chanting "WE WANT USA!"

Can't blame them considering their success against us in the last couple of world cups.  Here's hoping 2014 will be different.
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Posted: 6/10/2014 9:25 AM

Re: USMNT vs Nigeria - 6pm at Jacksonville (ESPN) 



GTJT622 wrote: As FYI...in their final friendly in front of 5,000 fans in Dolphins Stadium in Miami, Ghana defeated South Korea 4-0 yesterday.  A sub came off the bench and scored a hat trick.  The Ghanan fans in the stands started chanting "WE WANT USA!"

Can't blame them considering their success against us in the last couple of world cups.  Here's hoping 2014 will be different.
In fairness, we were chanting "We Want Ghana" on Saturday in Jacksonville.
Follow me on twitter @michaeltclarke.
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Posted: 6/10/2014 9:31 AM

Re: USMNT vs Nigeria - 6pm at Jacksonville (ESPN) 



mikegt wrote:
GTJT622 wrote: As FYI...in their final friendly in front of 5,000 fans in Dolphins Stadium in Miami, Ghana defeated South Korea 4-0 yesterday.  A sub came off the bench and scored a hat trick.  The Ghanan fans in the stands started chanting "WE WANT USA!"

Can't blame them considering their success against us in the last couple of world cups.  Here's hoping 2014 will be different.
In fairness, we were chanting "We Want Ghana" on Saturday in Jacksonville.
That's correct.  I see nothing wrong with either side.  Actually, great to see as everyone is excited about getting this thing going I believe.  When you win - even in a friendly - 4 to zilch, chanting "WE WANT BRAZIL" would be fine.

Ghana-USA is a pivotal game for both sides.  Lose that match and you are essentially eliminated barring some kind of miracle.  A tie doesn't mean your days are done, but still will be tough.  Win and you've got a solid chance.
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Posted: 6/10/2014 9:44 AM

Re: USMNT vs Nigeria - 6pm at Jacksonville (ESPN) 



GTJT622 wrote:
mikegt wrote:
GTJT622 wrote: As FYI...in their final friendly in front of 5,000 fans in Dolphins Stadium in Miami, Ghana defeated South Korea 4-0 yesterday.  A sub came off the bench and scored a hat trick.  The Ghanan fans in the stands started chanting "WE WANT USA!"

Can't blame them considering their success against us in the last couple of world cups.  Here's hoping 2014 will be different.
In fairness, we were chanting "We Want Ghana" on Saturday in Jacksonville.
That's correct.  I see nothing wrong with either side.  Actually, great to see as everyone is excited about getting this thing going I believe.  When you win - even in a friendly - 4 to zilch, chanting "WE WANT BRAZIL" would be fine.

Ghana-USA is a pivotal game for both sides.  Lose that match and you are essentially eliminated barring some kind of miracle.  A tie doesn't mean your days are done, but still will be tough.  Win and you've got a solid chance.
Ghana has some talent and they really got screwed from going to the QuarterFinals of the last WC (or was it semis?).  Anyway, I am not convinced that Portugal is better than Ghana.  A tie would not be so bad.  I just hate putting so much pressure on one game, particularly the first one.
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Posted: 6/10/2014 9:49 AM

Re: USMNT vs Nigeria - 6pm at Jacksonville (ESPN) 



jacketJP wrote:
shipreck wrote:
TBuzz wrote: Really liked the 4-2-3-1 with the defensive mids Beckerman and Jones protecting Bradley. It frees up Dempsey on the wing too, I'm just worried that we're not employing a "winger" and virtually nothing came from the edges unless it was Fabian Johnson or Damarcus Beasley coming up. I would almost prefer to see Zusi or Davis instead of Bedoya.
I think Zusi starts. That said, I thought Bedoya was better than he had been. Like Altidore, a little confidence helps. I think this part in the first goal helped him.
+1. I also have to say, after being highly critical of Jones's performance of late, that I thought he played really well.  I don't know if it was the formation or what, but he looked like a completely different player in this match.


He still frustrated me.  The guy is just not much of an offensive player.  He doesn't see passes that he should see, and he can't execute passes very well either.  He had Beasley running down the left sideline, having caught the defender off guard.  Lots of space in behind.  Jones tried to chip it to him and flubbed it out of bounds.  Later he had the ball just across midfield and Dempsey made a well timed run just begging for the ball to be slipped through.  Would have been about a 15-20 yard pass and again, we had caught the Nigeria back line with a lot of space behind.  Jones apparently didn't see it.  Later he made a great dribbilng run and ended up with effectively a 2 on 1, and he tried to slip the ball to the right, as he should have.  I think it was Bedoya, but I don't remember.  Anyway, if this pass travels between 8 and 20 yards, its a 1 on 1 with the keeper.  15 yards would have been about perfect , but that was the margin for error.  He took a slightly heavy touch and had to rush the pass, but still a world class player should easily be able to weight a pass properly with that enormous margin for error.  He hit it heavy and sent it about 25 yards, forcing Bedoya or whoever it was almost to the corner flag to retrieve it.  The defense recovered and we ended up with a standard cross instead of a 1 on 1 vs the keeper.  

Those are the kind of chances we won't be able to afford to waste in the world cup.  When you get into a spot where a relatively standard pass will result in a great scoring chance, you can't F it up.  

Jones did play better I thought, but that just means solid on defense, won the ball a lot and dribbled well, and didn't turn it over too much.  He's always going to be an offensive liability with his inability to execute anything but the simplest passes.  Unfortunately we aren't deep enough to have highly skilled players at every position, because we do need some players with his athleticism and what he brings on defense.


Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.
  -Mark Twain
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