1. I am still alive and functioning.
Those of you who know me, know that in general, I do NOT take losses well. See 2006 Rosebowl or my broken tv after the GB/TB game in 1995 for examples. But I think I manage to handle this one okay. Perhaps it was the 5 stella's and numerous American Bomb Pop shots, or perhaps it was the fact that from the second we walked on to the field, this game felt a little off. But I am up, managing to not completely hate the world and am still watching soccer. (fyi, the netherlands just scored)....
2. I have not managed to re watch the game yet - and I'm not sure when I'll be emotionally stable enough to do so
Therefore any observation right now, is probably half emotion filled, half alcohol filled, and half logic filled.
I'm not really sure what happened to Bob Bradley in this game; but this was not the coaching that we have come to know from him. I said before the send off games, Bradley's ability to pick the right formations and game plans and his ability to make proper adjustments would be crucial to our run. Prior to Saturday's game, he was impressing me. Picking the right line ups, showing patience and wisdom when it came to subs - and then bam Saturday all that goes out the window.
Ricardo Clark. I'm a homer. I like him. But clearly something wasn't right in his game on Saturday. I'm guessing that he was started over Edu because he is a more defensive player. And I get that a change was needed. And at the time, I was behind the mid-first half sub, but after the game and with some reflection time, I'm still not sure A. Why did Clark start? and B. Why was he subbed out so early?
Ghana is a quick team, but they're not overly fancy or more talented up top than any of the other teams we have faced. Why Bradley felt the need to take off mid field creativity for an extra defensive man is beyond me. We were losing the battle through the mid all day. We needed strength there.
Bradley is not a first half sub kind of guy. Even when Torres was getting worked, we waited until the half. We've almost fallen into a pattern of two subs at the half, one post 60th minutes. We're a wait and see team. By making the sub so early, Bradley showed me that clearly he was not fully behind his plan, nor was he really trusting the team that he put on the pitch to be able to come together and get the job done. I have never been a fan of changing the way you do things are you progress further into a tournament or post season play.
2b. We did not rise to the occasion. We shy'd away from it.
I do not believe that we overlooked Ghana. I think we just never stopped looking at Algeria. We were so pumped and affected by that moment. That instead of using it to galvanize us, we relished in it and never moved on. I do believe that many of the players who were on the pitch on Saturday will feel regret. As not everything was left out there. One noticeably for me, is Jozy Altidore.
Again, I'm a fan. SB is not. So I do spend some time having to defend him, but Saturday's showing clearly demonstrated to me that Altidore has a lot to learn. He was not our go to striker. And having relative new comers up top with him, he needed to carry that weight better. I'm hoping that he gets picked up by another European side and learns and grows a lot between now and the next gold cup. He's a monster athlete and the US needs him.
3. I am happy with what Bradley has done with this team. But also, I can hardly wait to see what our next coach can do. The 2011 Gold Cup will determine who will play in the next confederations cup. Bradley has taken us on a good ride, but I am confident that we can go further and that there are other options out there available to us (Klingsman?!????).
So this girl is taking this loss in stride. Hell, at least Italy, France, and England are also all back home watching too. :) And I'm going to focus on the next step, the return of Charlie D and the future of the USMNT.
Anyone want to start planning viewing parties for the GOLD CUP?!