US 2 Holland 2

Jozy’s goal appeared to win the game for US/




Wynne – Edu – Parkhurst – Orozco

Rogers – Bradley – Kljestan – Holden



Rogers and Holden swap flanks to play on owing itself to the bad linkup play between Orozco and Rogers. Otherwise Nowak keeps his starting XI intact. Join us to discuss at CSRN’s Third Half Chat.

Post Match Thoughts:

Several hours after the match concluded the bitter taste has not yet been washed away. But the reality is simple: The United States controlled the match against a European power but showed immaturity and a lack of understanding in the last several minutes of the match and opened the door for the Dutch who were not even truly playing football in the second half. To be quite honest this group of American players did not even perform this well against CONCACAF opposition. The truth is Holland has never played well in tournaments held in warmer climates and today the superior fitness and conditioning of the American players was obvious. Nigeria as I projected before the tournament and now after two matches is far better than the Dutch and the US will need to play well to get a draw. Without Michael Bradley and Freddy Adu available, the depth of the United States will be tested in the final group match.

It is possible the US can advance with a loss if Holland does not defeat Japan. Based on what I have seen from both sides, Holland is unlikely to beat anyone in this tournament except for China or New Zealand. However, a side with Roy Maakay, Kew Jailens and Ryan Babel cannot be underestimated and we must assume they’ll play far better in the final match of the group stage than they did in the first two matches where quite frankly both Nigeria and the US let them off the hook.

Second Half Thoughts:

Folks it doesn’t get anymore devastating than this. I try and be an objective commentator but I am also a lifelong US National Team fan, and this one hurts worse than most. Early in the second half the US came out flying and creates countless chances. Freddy Adu continues his fine technical play on the ball. Brian McBride nails a header off a Stuart Holden free kick but the keeper just makes the save. The chances piled up for the United States and finally a great ball from Freddy Adu to streaking Sacha Kljestan results in a classic finish. Minutes later with the US pressing and Peter Nowak making the offensive minded substitution bringing in Jozy Altidore for Robbie Rogers, Michael Orozco centers a great ball which Altidore finishes and the US goes up 2-1. As the United States tries to kill the game and the Dutch looked mentally and physically dead. On the counter chances continued to come for the US, but Stuart Holden put a shot on goal instead of using the help he had and on another Jozy Altidore just mistimed his run. The desperate Dutch brought Roy Maakay on late despite his injury and he failed create anything for the Dutch. Ryan Babel was effectively marked out of the game by the US back line.

Both Freddy Adu and Michael Bradley pick up silly yellow cards meaning they will miss the next match where everything is on the line. Stuart Holden’s foul then gave Holland life and the wall didn’t do it’s job. It’s tough to even breakdown what happened there. Holland was just flinging the ball forward out of desperation, no real danger present based on the inability of the Dutch to cope.

A tough one to swallow but its part of being a US fan to absorb disappointments like this. More analysis to follow.

First Half Thoughts:

The US started slowly as they have consistently during Peter Nowak’s tenure managing this team but really came on in the last fifteen minutes of the half controlling the midfield and creating more chances in that stretch than in the entire game against Japan. Sadly the finishing has been lacking and Holland took their one really good chance by Ryan Babel and scored. Other chances for the Netherlands have been half chances at best. Football is about taking your chances, but the Dutch look winded and beat down. Halftime could not have come soon enough for them.

Freddy Adu bounced back from a weak first match with a brilliant half. His pace and on the ball skill is making him appear to be a man among boys out on the pitch. Accolades in the first half also need to be given to Sacha Kljestan who has bounced back from a shaky first match by commanding the midfield triggering the domination of the last fifteen minutes.

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About Kartik Krishnaiyer

A lifelong lover of soccer, the beautiful game, he served from January 2010 until May 2013 as the Director of Communications and Public Relations for the North American Soccer League (NASL). Raised on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the old NASL, Krishnaiyer previously hosted the American Soccer Show on the Champions Soccer Radio Network, the Major League Soccer Talk podcast and the EPL Talk Podcast. His soccer writing has been featured by several media outlets including The Guardian and The Telegraph. He is the author of the book Blue With Envy about Manchester City FC.
View all posts by Kartik Krishnaiyer →

32 Responses to US 2 Holland 2

  1. Kiwi Yank says:

    Interesting that he made no real changes.

    Kljestan did not deserve another start.

    Nigeria won so we need at least a draw today, more likely a win as the Nigerians look like they are the best team in the group.

  2. John Harris says:

    Rogers to my knowledge has never played on the right side in his life.

  3. Play Jozy says:

    McBride is totally out of his depth in this setup.

    Why is Altidore not playing? Does Nowak really think Mcbride at 36 can start three games in six days?

  4. Jess says:

    Why do you think, Kartik that Nowak swapped the two besides the obvious lack of linkup play?

    Both guys are left footed and who is to say Rogers will create more on the right side than Holden did? This is much like the Beasley/Convey/Lewis problem we had coming into the 2006 World Cup. All three are left footed attacking midfielders but in order to get them all on the field we swapped positions and even put Lewis and left back where he never should have played. So here we go again.

  5. kartik says:

    McBride’s play in the first game wasn’t reassuring, play Jozy. But let’s not be nieve. He’s calling the shots on whether he plays or not. That may or may not be fair but since he has been lionized as a heroic figure in our footballing history (rightly or wrongly) he’s not getting dropped.

    Jess, we simply have an excess of quality left sided midfielders. It’s been a problem for years now. Keep in mind Adu is left footed also as was John O’Brien arguably our most technical midfielder ever. The Beasley/Lewis/Convey thing troublesome and for a while before Dempsey emerged it looked like we’d be stuck without a right footed option and with three maybe four left footed options out wide.

    Keep in mind Justin Mapp whose tailed off but certainly has national team talent is also left footed.

  6. I would like to encourage all of you to stop by The Third Half Chat to discuss the game. It’s always a fun time as we talk about everything in the game.

    Plus we can collectively keep each other awake :).

  7. Ronald says:

    I like the change, but do not think Kljestan should be playing again.

  8. eplnfl says:


    The US looks lost. What cable channel does NBC have this game on?

  9. kartik says:

    USA Network

  10. eplnfl says:

    Thanks, had a bad night. Not quite sharp yet. Watching Italy v. SK on MSNBC and US game online.

  11. eplnfl says:

    great effort by Adu to get a shot, but it looks like it maybe our best tonight, which won’t be good enough

  12. kartik says:

    Great run though. He may have other options like Wynne streaking down the right hand side but opted to take the shot.

  13. eplnfl says:

    Is the field that bad or is it my TV?

  14. Ronald says:



  15. Brian says:

    eplnfl, it’s not our tv, the pitch is in bad shape, they’ve had rain lately and combine that with the heavy use and you get that mushy pitch with divets.

  16. Ronald says:



  17. Thomas says:

    You guys are going to kill me, but Nowak leaving two strikers on when we needed to defend got us what we deserved. You guys yell and scream about being more offensive and this is what you get if you cannot sit and kill a game, by putting ten men behind the ball.

    Bradley is the full national team manager for a reason. I’ve read this blog for a while and never comment because I disagree with so much of the content and readers comments. This is proof as to why youy have to be more defensive when you need to kill games.

    Also perhaps keeping two holding midfielders on instead of forcing the wide midfielders to track back would have sealed the game? Again you people need to get a grip. ALL OUT ATTACK = LOSING FOOTBALL.

  18. Mark says:

    Thomas you are dead wrong.

    Nowak wanted to counter and it almost got us a third goal.

    McBride also we thought would be useful because of his size on set pieces.

    Honestly, if Nowak had played it the way Bradley normally does, we would have just kept flicking the ball back to them and given up the equalizer far earlier.

  19. Chop says:

    A lack of maturity on the US’ part in the final minutes and sure advancement now turns into a fight to get out of the group.

    This one is down on the players. You can bitch all you want about leaving subs on the bench or going for a third goal (which they should have gotten had Holden not been so selfish) but at the end of the day, you have to have the intelligence to kill off games. Kjlestan and Holden were guilty of giving away the ball too casually late in the match. Brad Guzan also deserves a little blame as his last 5 punts from the box did nothing but reload the Dutch offense.

    As Kartik says, this one is tough to swallow because the US were the better team but didn’t have the necessary fortitude to close out the match. There was no one on the bench that I can tell that could give that to the US.

    Better decision making on the ball in the final 5 minutes and the US is on to the knock out stages.

    However, not all is lost. Although we will be missing Adu and Bradley, Nigeria had two of their defenders sent off late and will be shorthanded as well. A draw by the US is all that is needed to advance due to greater goals scored at this point by the US (3-2).

  20. eplnfl says:

    Ok, it hurts I’ll admit that but we got the point we needed and are in an excellent position to advance, better then anyone else in our group. Going into the games if we said that which I think I did, Kartik had me taking a sobriety check!

    Lets hand it to Novak, he has got the US playing the physical game that the major European teams play so well, which until this squad we have not seen the US play before.

    Holden, Wynne, Guzan, all have been outstanding. A excellent substitution by Novak today bringing in Altidore late who helped keep the US in control of the game.

    As, Captain America I believed the US could get a medal in these games, but the educated view of things is that getting out of the group is an achievement and another step forward for US soccer.

  21. Berlin says:

    If I heard before the game that the US gave up a draw because they were too attack minded (which actually happened), I would say “Way to go USA!” Not saying we couldn’t have used the bucket to finish this off, but I was glad to see the outstanding linkup and overlap play in the second half. I’ve seen enough Hail Mary’s from our defensive third to last me a lifetime.

  22. John Harris says:

    Rogers was terrible. He is a step slow in making decisions and for all his wheels out wide we’d be better off keeping Holden on the left and playing Benny or Dax out wide on the right.

    This is devastating loss but also a good test. Do our kids have the moral resolve and the strength of character to excel or are they just the latest group of American youngsters whose promise gets washed away in major international tournaments due to stupidity and lack of composure? Are we tough enough mentally to get through this?

    We will find out Wednesday.

  23. Daniel F. US Open Cup says:

    For those who don’t know why Josy wasn’t starting, Michael Lewis of the NY Daily News reports on his Big Apple Soccer site that Josy is still bothered by an ankle injury before the MLS season started. So there you go.

  24. Kartik says:

    Well the tactics are going to have to be changed up in the final group match thanks to the yellow card situation.

    Bradley has to know better: carrying a yellow let someone else take the free kick or simply play it back to a back and kill time that way. Awareness and game management have always been poor traits of American sides. Today we saw this again.

  25. John says:

    The Netherlands deserved to lose, and we should have easily taken this game. Yet, the last ten minutes we make the poorest decisions and passes. Sacha, who scored that great goal for us, also helped blow our lead by making a horrible pass in midfield that led to the free kick.But the whole team deserves blame for that choke job down the stretch.

    And did anyone else know that they Dustch were gonna kick under the wall? It bit us in the ass

  26. Javi says:

    Honestly guys, without Adu for the next game we are in big trouble.

    He’s the most creative player this team has. And there is no one in the U.S. squad that I’ve seen in the last two games who can feed the ball to Brian McBride. I saw highlights of Nigeria v. Japan and I don’t think the U.S. can beat Nigeria.

  27. Play Jozy says:

    Any thoughts on the lineup without Adu and Bradley?

    I’m guessing we’ll see a 4-4-2 with Altidore getting a start.

    Maybe Charlie Davies will actually see some time as a late sub. His speed could be a big difference maker late in the game.

    Could Davies actually play out wide since Rogers looked so out of sorts today?

  28. Soccer Guru says:

    I hate to say it but this is part of being an american soccer fan. we have a losing mentality. that’s the bottom line. we do not know how to hold the ball or close out games. the one guy we have that has some real technical skill on the ball is freddy and he was subbed out. we are behind the back foot already for wednesday. we went from winning the group to probably out of medal contention because of three consecutive bone head mistakes by holden: typically american mistakes. not only the two outlined above, but he’s the guy who jumped in the wall! i hope this is a new page in american soccer but my guess is it will be more of the same. we flushed down the drain a brilliant effort and now will come out flat in the final group game and go home quietly. that has been our history, what makes us think this group of guys are any different?

  29. DerrickInSF says:

    A better game by the U.S.

    when they got the lead an needed to possess the ball, spread it around, they just booted it. Possession seems to be a foreign concept. They defended too deep. Continued lack of attention to detail.

    McBride shouldn’t start over Altidore. Aren’t we past immobile target men. I’m a McBride fan and he doesn’t suck by any means but I’m not a fan of that style of football. He would be the guy I bring in when we are down a goal and time is running out and our plan is to put the ball wide and and put early crosses into the box onto his head. And far too often when he is in we are play Adu with his back to the goal instead of McBride. What’s the sense of that? Regardless I think they lost not because of bad tactics but because they failed to execute simple things you do to close out a game.

  30. bandeeto says:

    So yeah, not only do our boys have to organize an entirely new midfield, but practice (practice, practice, practice…) closing out games properly. I don’t know how this is done effectively. Probably no one in the entire US knows how to prepair for this properly. If so, then USSF should pay them a million bucks to show every other coach in the US how.

    But, you know, I was down for about 5 min and then realized that this game was great. Our boys played so well, and I’m proud of them. Yeah, they have plenty of room for improvement, but THEY DOMINATED THE NETHERLANDS. Anybody in here call that one? Anyone? Anyone related to someone who called that? Yup, didn’t think so.

    If they play as well against Nigeria as against Netherlands and sill lose, I won’t count this olympics a failure.

  31. Armand says:

    Nigeria is far superior to the Netherlands, especially at the youth level. Without Adu it’s going to be tough to get a victory. A draw however is attainable and is enough for us to advance.

  32. Flash says:

    No successful footballing nation collapses like that in such a critical situation. Maybe England which is all of yours model does but that’s why they are England and not Brazil.

    The draw was totally disgusting. If we advance we’ll be sitting ducks anyhow.

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