The United States got an early goal from Maurice Edu but was equalized moments before halftime, sending the Yanks into intermission drawn 1-1 in their friendly with the Czech Republic.
Tomas Sivok headed home a Jaroslav Plasil dead ball outswinger moments before half to give the Czechs their opening goal.
Beyond the score, it has been an informative half for Bob Bradley in his quest to determine who should be going to South Africa.
If you were to judge only on the last forty-five minutes (which, in this update, I will), Edson Buddle should go to South Africa, a perfect understudy to Jozy Altidore. He has been active, drawn fouls, and was important on the goal.
DaMarcus Beasley’s positioning and reading of play has been excellent, and while he’s clearly not as quick as he used to be, he has been able to apply timely pressure to the Czech Republic’s right back, when needed. He had a very good cross in the game’s third minute.
Maurice Edu has been active in midfield, and Clarence Goodson is affirming his place as the fourth center half, partially thanks to a strong headed clearance in the match’s 38th minute.
No Harm, No Foul
Stuart Holden has been active, but he’s also gotten himself out of position twice. It balances out.
Jose Francisco Torres poorly lofted a ball to Steve Cherundolo early, a ball that could have turned into a counter. Similarly, Torres almost allowed the Czechs a second break when trying to force a ball to the left side of the pitch. However, he has been quick to close down in midfield and his skill has helped maintain possession (at other times).
Steve Cherundolo gave the ball away twice in the first five minutes but settled-in and had a solid half, getting forward once to win a foul.
Oguchi Onyewu is not health. He is tentative when slowing up. He was slow to turn and run in the 11th minute. On the goal, he showed he may be having trouble backpedaling, and he didn’t get any lift in rising for the ball. In between, Onyewu appeared confident, and his presence made you remember how valuable he is – when healthy. Onyewu can not play this way in South Africa.
Eddie Johnson has failed to contribute anything.
Jonathan Bornstein has made at least nine mistakes:
5’ – misplaced a header, eventually forcing Onyewu to give a foul
13’ – too narrow in positioning, though Czechs did not find RW jumping into the play
14’ – another failed aerial challenge
20’ – aggression playing aball in midfield left him out of position, Czechs attacked through his area
30’ – raised foot foul that could have drawn a card if it made better contact
31’ – out of position on two-on-two challenge – played the man Beasley and Onyewu could account for, leaving the man in possession unmarked
31’ – committed a foul in a dangerous area of the pitch
33’ – too narrow in positioning
36’ – hits a pass too hard, giving possession away