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Old 01-29-2013, 09:57 PM   #9
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Pretty lackluster first half. 0-0.
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Old 01-30-2013, 01:24 AM   #10
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Yep. That match sucked. Pretty uninspiring play from either team. Canada played the entire game with 10 men behind the ball looking for the draw and the Americans just couldn't find a way to unlock that defense. Probably Wondolowski's last game in a USA jersey. He just didn't have a positive contribution again (not that anyone else wearing the red, white and blue looked any better in the final third).
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Old 01-30-2013, 02:51 AM   #11
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At least we know that's not our WCQ team.

I am worried though. There doesn't seem to be much progress being made. Once the Donovan, Dempsey, Howard, etc. generation is done, who is going to step in? We were supposed to be producing better and better players but it seems like our best still belong to that group.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:39 AM   #12
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I'm really not that worried. And it might sound weird to say this, but in my opinion, if Michael Bradley would have been playing last night, the final score would have been 3-0 or 4-0. There was absolutely no strength in the midfield going forward. Beckerman is good at sitting in front of the defense and breaking up attacks, but he can't move forward in the international game because he just doesn't have those skills. Neither Brad Davis nor Brad Evans offered anything last night to show they should be included in the squad moving forward. They seemed to be watching the game pass them by, content to pass it side to side, without trying to find a way forward. I truly believe that some strength in the midfield from Bradley (and even Jermaine Jones) is the difference between last night's boring game and an exhilarating offensive display.

It would also help if someone would have taken a shot on goal after the 15th minute...
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Old 01-30-2013, 02:29 PM   #13
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It just seems like all of our promising young players end up plateauing, getting stuck in small leagues/clubs in Europe or in MLS, or even regressing. Altidore isn't who we hoped he would be. Agudelo is still pretty much the same guy he was 2 years ago. Of course there's Freddy Adu, the poster child for failed young talent. The list just seems to go on. Either we're really getting unlucky with players peaking very early, or something is wrong with how we're developing.
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Old 01-30-2013, 02:56 PM   #14
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Agudelo and Altidore are still only 20 and 23, respectively.

I read a really amazing article yesterday (here) and it talks about US Soccer's development and the problems that they've run into in the past. Let me know if that link doesn't work because it's an ESPN Insider article and I can post it. Long story short... the development of our players needs to start a lot earlier and focus more on the fundamentals and letting kids learn technique when they are much younger. Since so much of the game is dependent on player creativity, our kids need to learn how to do it the right way. Also, other countries, and I'm not exaggerating, put in at least 4 times the amount of training time as we do in the US.

Lastly, and this is also in that article, we as Americans tend to hop on every young player that we see and say that they are the next big thing (Adu, Agudelo and Altidore are all in this group), instead of letting them develop as players without a spotlight on them. Then we write them off way too young and it affects their confidence. Development is going to take time and I still think that we are three Cup cycles away from seeing true results. Last night was the first time there was more than one player on the field that was a product of the US developmental system (Agudelo, Gatt and Bruin).
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Old 01-30-2013, 03:32 PM   #15
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Young players with promise all over the world have to deal with the spotlight. They have to be able to handle it if they want to be world class.

It's not their age, it's that they don't seem to play much better now than they did when they first broke out. It's concerning.

I'd have to disagree a little bit with the article. The biggest difference between US players and players from most of the rest of the world is the lack of time spent playing outside of structured team/club practice. You don't really see a lot of kids in the park or side streets playing pick up soccer.
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Old 01-30-2013, 04:38 PM   #16
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I won't disagree with you on that point whatsoever. Although, the same could be said about basketball's development in most of Europe.

As for the young age, sure there is a spotlight in every other country... but people in England aren't trashing Jack Wilshere because he hasn't already unseated Steven Gerrard. I lay less of the blame on our younger players as I would on the huge gap in development. The US hasn't had a international worthy striker since Brian McBride... there really should be someone in his late 20's in that position right now. That's the amazing thing to me.
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