I am just starting out this article telling it like it is…I blame this loss on Jurgen Klinsmann.
Michael Bradley missed an opportunity to put a ball to Bobby Wood that might have given the US the lead. There were other opportunities for goals and certainly shaky defense on the final Mexico goal all contributed. Jurgen could not have predicted the Tim Howard injury and Mexico came to play..no question there.
However, here’s my opinion – you DO NOT start a game in a formation and tactics against your formidable rival. It does not matter that you practiced it, it does not matter that it went well in practice. Sure he would have looked like a genius if they had won, but this formation just has not worked for us and the pairing of Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones has never worked for us. If he was so interested in taking this tactic, why not try that in a friendly so that our team could at least have experienced it before deploying it against a bitter rival.
We had some great rhythm going with the 4-4-2, Klijstan had emerged an excellent creator and we could have used Yedlin’s speed in the first half. While we had a setback with Geoff Cameron being out, Jurgen had been doing a good job of including Omar Gonzales and Steve Birnbaum who are both able replacements along with Matt Besler.
To come out in such a big game with a crazy line up that doesn’t work, Jones/Bradley combination and deploying players out of position. It was a real disappointment after his lineup was looking like he was following his success from the Copa and making some logical decisions and minor tweaks. This is Jurgen however and this time it backfired again.
I’m still hopeful for success in Costa Rica on Tuesday which will get us right back into a good place, but this opening is on Jurgen and he deserves the pressure he receives. I would have liked to see what Klijstan or Lynden Gooch could have done, his speed or Julian Green might have added that final punch. I’m hopeful we’ll get to see some of these guys in action tomorrow.
That being said Micheal Bradley made some major mistakes and we’ll miss Tim Howard tomorrow night. Here’s hoping Jurgen makes a more logical line up decision on Tuesday.
On a positive note – I loved seeing what Christian Pulisic could do and he handled it incredibly. It was great to see Fabian Johnson in the midfield and I did think the attack was dangerous once we had got our formation right.