Blue and Red but limited White

Not sure what the title means but it incorporates all the important colors of the game....back to basics.

Anywho, based on the way yesterday's game unfolded, let's be honest...the final socre wasn't a surprise.

For the US to be red-carded, deservedly or not, and be up 1-0 at the half the first 45 couldn't have turned out any better unless Bradley Jr or Altidore had remember to finish.

However, BB made the mistake of including only 1 defensive midfielder for this trip to S Africa, Ricardo Clark. In order to play the 10 man, defensive 4-4-1 with the goal of winning possession and sending the ball far forward as quick as possible, he really needed a defensive midfielder willing to get in the mix, cut off the Italians farther out, get the ball wide and make progress up the wings.

Instead BB relied on Bradley Jr and Feilhaber in the middle, and while I liked the early idea of having them out there with Clark, they do not posses the skill set needed to maintain that "pack the back" type of mentality; Bradley Jr is a decent defender but Feilhaber is much better in the offensive half than in the defensive half.

With no one defensive minded patrolling the middle, they were leaving the middle open to the Italian midfield and it showed with 2 goals coming from well outside the penalty area (the third was late, desereved, and well taken) They were also out of luck going forward, as Altidore had no one to help him up front and his touch deserted him as the game wore on. Charlie Davies brought little to the mix when he got in, except a seemingly mistimed effort on a late corner.

For the first 35 minutes or so though, the US did look excellent and evenly matched. It probably helped that the Italians attempted to put Vicenzo Iaquinta on the LW in one of the oddest 4-3-3s ever assembled, but this was still the defending world champions and the US looked up to the task. The unfolding of the game can only be described as unfortunate.

Brief Thoughts...

Once again Clint Dempsey attempted to do too much too often. When he works hard and busts his ass, he is invaluable. When he gets the ball and does those outside of the foot circles, it must result in losing possession like 75% of the time...it's like he's overthinking himself.

Michael Bradley did look good for most of the game, could have done more in front of the goal in the first half but overall provided good service and was a force in the middle.

Benny Feilhaber is probably the best pure passer out there for the US but was overmatched in the 2nd half when BB had to employ him in a more defensive role.

Landon Donovan proved that he also works well with Jozy Altidore upfront, providing excellent balls and making things a little tough for the Italian defense; the more offensive his role the more effective he is, although I still prefer him on the wing.

Oguchi Onyewu was a beast in the back and it says something about his effort with Jay Demerit that the only way the Italians could get on the board was from such distance....that was until the laziness took hold in the final minute and they put away the 3rd.

Speaking of the 3rd....Giuseppe Rossi. His first goal was sublime and his 2nd was a perfect finish. Creating for himself or doing justice to some unbelievable one man buildup from Andrea Pirlo, the 22 year old from Teaneck is establishing himself as a World Class talent. Am I bitter that he took a chance by spurning the USMNT for the Italians, got an opporunity beginnning in last years olympics, earned a spot on the senior team and then scored two beautiful goals against the US? Goals that I am not sure anyone on the current US roster would have scored? Of course but that is the state of US Soccer....the talent exists in the country, and while it might be best developed by a private club team in Europe, we need someone of that level to step up and say, I want to make a difference to United States b/c I love this country and I want to play for them....Want is that key trait that Rossi did not possess. It is worth to note that he is 22 and has been working at this for a while....hopefully that serves as an inspiration or kick start to someone with a desire to be an American.

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