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Quick Recap: US Lose 1-0 to Paraguay

Archive, Friendly, Paraguay

In a disappointing result, the US fell to Paraguay 1-0 in tonight’s friendly. The US dominated play for most of the match, but they were never able to breakthrough and score that elusive goal. Individually many US players played well, but as a group it took almost the full 90 minutes for the US to work as a team. For most of the match the US could not link 3 or 4 passes together in order to create real goal scoring chances and were very deliberate in their attentions. However, late in the second half the US looked more dynamic and showed signs of quality.

Here were my in-game notes spiced with some post-game analysis:

1st Half

– Bradley starts with a 4-4-2 formation
Agudelo and Jozy up front
Chandler at RB, Ream at center back
Edu-Bradley in the middle
I was pretty pleased with Bradley’s line-up choices, except for the inclusion of Bornstein at left back. 

– Great opening pass by Ream to Dempsey from the back
It was evident that Ream’s ability to pass out of the back greatly helps the US team.

– Bornstein fails to mark up in the 4th minute, free header for Paraguay from 8 yards out
Bornstein was once again awful tonight. He has a horrible touch and can’t play defense. If he plays during the Gold Cup it will be a disgrace. 

– Very creative turn from Agudelo in the early minutes
Agudelo was slicing and dicing defenders all night. He is just so quick and elusive that it’s tough for one defender to stay with him. Not only that but he has a great soccer mind and knows where to go with the ball.

– Bornstein shanks the cross on a goal scoring opportunity set up by Donovan
This was a great goal scoring chance the US had early, but Bornstein completely ruined it.

– I have really liked Dempsey’s creativeness in the midfield so far, looks like his old Fulham self (15th minute)
Dempsey was impressive for most of the match. He was all over the place, making moves and creating chances. 

– 18th minute goal from Paraguay, sloppy box play from the US after a corner….DeMerit falls down trying to clear it, as the ball ricochets to a Paraguayan attacker (Cardozo), who buries the ball from 6 yards …Ream fell down earlier and allowed his man to have the free opportunity
Upon replay it looked like Ream got taken down and if not, he would have been there to prevent the goal. Either way it was horrible, sloppy defending by the US. This goal should have never happened. 

– US created a good chance in the 20th minute…Chandler cross to Dempsey’s head which goes over the net…good little flick back by Donovan to set up the play
– Great speed by Chandler in the 24th minute leads to a free kick…nothing comes of it
Chandler was threatening Paraguay’s defense all night with his lethal speed. You just can’t teach that. 

– Dempsey unleashes a ball from 35 yards out…the ball had some nice dip action and was on target, but it was an easy save
It was a great effort by Dempsey, but if he picked up his head he would of saw that the US had numbers going forward. 

– Agudelo creating havoc, drawing fouls….Jozy not doing much
The Altidore-Agudelo forward tandem did not work today, mainly because Altidore had an awful game. Jozy was nowhere to be seen in the US attack. 

– Paraguay can’t get out of their own end…33rd minute
Paraguay barely created chances all night. 

– Bornstein actually swings in a good cross, Bradley ended up with it and laid it to Dempsey but his shot was way off
– Agudelo draws a foul in a dangerous area in the 41st minute…great step over, deception
– DeMerit comes out hurt in the 42nd, Bocanegra on
DeMerit left the game with a strained right groin 

– 2 long range shots from Paraguay saved by Hahnemann, who has been barely tested so far

– Half: Paraguay up 1-0
US dominated the half, but lacked team collectiveness and the final pass/touch to score and at the same time were a little sloppy in the box leading to Paraguay’s one goal, Paraguay has done little but still have the lead. 

2nd Half
– 2nd half Subs:
    Jermaine Jones on for Edu
    Yelldell on for Hahnemann
I like the move to take out Edu. He looked a little sloppy and it was time to test out Jones with Bradley to see if that was a better combination.
– Woow…unreal touch by Agudelo, gets taken down in the box but no call, Agudelo is so sneaky with the ball at his feet and started the whole play by coming back to collect the ball.
This should have been a penalty kick for the US in my opinion.
– US putting on the pressure early…Donovan cross leads to a corner
Donovan has looked rusty so far in 2011 for both club and country. He had a lot of set piece opportunities tonight and none of them seemed to fall just right .
– Chandler with a great move, flicks the ball by the defender, and cross…leads to a corner
He was doing this all night.
– Nobody helps Dempsey out when the US had runners forward, where are you Jozy to help out???…54th minute
It just seemed like each player was playing on an island at this point in the match. Nobody was helping out.
– Lichaj in for Altidore…Dempsey pushes up top….Chandler steps up into the midfield on the right
This was a bad game for Jozy. He looked to be out of form and thus didn’t work well with Agudelo.
– Unreal speed by Chandler down the wing, leads to a Dempsey outside shot that goes wide left
How many times have I said this.
– Great run by Chandler, who passes the ball to Agudelo who springs Lichaj down the wing, which results in a great cross. However, Dempsey’s shot rockets over the net
This was the best chance of the night for the US up until this point.
– Paraguay haven’t created many chances in the 2nd half
– 73rd minute….another Donovan cross goes nowhere, flies over everybody’s head
– Donovan misses a sitter, blasted the ball from 5 yards out and it hits the side of goal…the ball just fell to him after a Lichaj long throw-in
This was another example of Donovan’s rustiness. 
– Kljestan comes in for Bornstein
Bornstein was just awful once again. Will Bradley finally get the hint? 
– Unreal long-range strike from a Paraguayan attacker that hits off the right post, Yelldell was beaten on the play
– Chandler out Spector in…80th minute
Man of the Match honors??
– What a shot from 25 yards out by Bradley, destined for goal, but a diving save prevents the US from tying the game in the 86th min
This was a beautiful rip. Bradley blasted a bouncing ball into the top corner, but the Paraguayan keeper rose to the occasion. 
– Great one touch possession late from US
The US finally got their act together in the final 10 to 15 minutes, but it was too little to late.
– Jermaine Jones unleashes a screamer in the dying moments from the 18 yard box, but it was another great save by the keeper that kept the US off the board
Jones hit this ball with perfect technique, but somehow it found the goalie’s hands through traffic. I think Jones worked much better with Bradley than Edu did. The whole team looked a little crisper with Jones on the field. 
– US Lose 1-0
The US deserved the draw, but it just shows you how much better this team still needs to get. There is no question in my mind that the US should have beaten this Paraguayan team 2 or 3 nothing. The US let in a goal that should have never happened and failed to convert on countless opportunities late in the match after failing to be creative going forward earlier in the match. It’s the same story with this team no matter what players are playing. Things aren’t as peachy as everyone is making them out to be. Hopefully they improve or Mexico will dominate them in the Gold Cup, mark my words.


Man of the Match: tie between Chandler and Agudelo
– Chandler was just flying down that wing whether it was at right back or right midfield. He was very impressive and his ability to cross and create chances for the US is vital
– Agudelo was dangerous all night. He checked to the ball well and showed his ability to hold the ball up in possession. Agudelo is also so skillful with the ball at his feet that he constantly keeps defenders off balance.