February 8, 2013
The United States men’s national team began the hexagonal stage with a road loss to Honduras on Wednesday. The first-half was pretty even until Clint Dempsey scored on a volley in the 36th minute to give the Americans the lead. Honduras quickly halted that momentum when Juan Carlos Garcia tied the score on a goal in the 40th minute.
In the second half, the U.S. came out considerably flat as Honduras had them back on their heels. The consistent pressure by “Los Catrachos” finally broke the tie on a goal by Jerry Bengtson in the 79th minute. The goal was scored on a broken play where U.S. goalie Tim Howard came out to play the shot with no defender left in the middle to block the open net.
Surprisingly, the U.S. did not seem to push forward to mount an attack in the final 15 minutes.
Bottom line, this team still has way too many questions to answer. Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann seems to still be figuring things out all over the pitch. That’s alarming considering this is the final stage in World Cup Qualifying. Here are 3 reasons it’s time to panic for the U.S.
1. No Landon Donovan: It is unclear whether or not the team will have his services. I’m praying he doesn’t retire.
2. Lineup Moves/Substitutions: A lot of the decisions Klinsmann made were questionable, especially on defense. He passed on starting veterans Carlos Bocanegra and Michael Parkhurst for Timothy Chandler and Omar Gonzalez. Herculez Gomez and Jose Torres saw no action.
3. Formation: Klinsmann can’t keep juggling formations along with his lineup. He needs to find something that works and stick with it. The 4-4-2 might be strongest without Landon Donovan in the lineup. That will help our outside backs go on the attack.
The only thing working in the teams’ favor is the fact that they have over a month until their next qualifier against Costa Rica on March 22nd in Colorado. Whoever is chosen to play must bring an increased sense of urgency because one more loss could spell doom for the Americans.