US Looks Flat Against Honduras

Let’s cut to the chase, check out Dempsey’s goal from the first half.  It is the first goal scored by the US Men’s National Team in 233 minutes and the first time the team has taken the lead under head coach Jurgen Klinsmann.

A bit of analysis after the jump.

The weather in Miami was less than perfect as rain poured down on the American football field that the ball didn’t react well on.  Perhaps Honduras was more apt to play on poor pitch conditions, as they controlled the first 30 minutes of the match.  Clint Dempsey’s beautiful strike reversed the tide of the first half.  When I saw Deuce pull the ball back inside the box with two or three defenders on him, I thought the play was dead.  Fortunately Dempsey was able to pull some magic out of nowhere and blasted the ball in the upper 90.

After the goal, the game opened up through midfield.  Both teams were able to string passes together, but they lacked in the final thirds.  Early in the second half, Brek Shea had an opportunity to put the game away.  Somehow he managed to squander a chance from 12 yards out on a wonderful ball played across to him.  That miss seemed to recharge the Honduran squad, who surged forward with wave after wave of attack.  Tim Howard kept the United States ahead numerous times with a solid body of work tonight.

After a save by the Honduras keeper, Oguchi Onyewu somehow managed to put a shot over from close range.  The ball dropped to Onyewu who was wide open with no pressure on him.  However, Gooch seemed to panic and shanked the ball 20 yards too high.

Clint Dempsey scored a valid goal late in the match, but the official called it back.  Juan Agudelo did well to keep the play alive in he corner before dropping it off.  A cross came in and Dempsey lifted high to nod the ball past the Honduran keeper at the far post.

USMNT debutante Daniel Williams, the German born 22 year old midfielder, did well to impress Klinsmann and the Yanks faithful.  He exhibited experience despite his youth.  Without starting up the hype machine, Williams has a great future with the US team.  Tonight he played primarily through the middle, but showed his ability coming in from the right wing.

In previous matches, the United States has controlled the midfield but lacked momentum in the final third.  In other games, the US defended well but lacked a finishing touch at the other end.  Tonight, however, Klinsmann’s men played without overwhelming possession or convincing defense but managed to score one and could have easily had more.  Perhaps in the next match against Ecuador we can see some reconciliation of solid defensive work, penetrating possession and a finishing touch.

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