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Bob Weiser started playing soccer as a youth and has been following the sport ever since, dating back to days of watching the Bundesliga on PBS on Saturday afternoons.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The end of the line

Well, it's over. The United States gave the gallant fight Saturday, but, in the end, Ghana was just a little better in the final third and converted twice to eliminate the U.S., 2-1.
Some thoughts:
1) While Ricardo Clark gave the ball away leading to Ghana's first goal, the giveaway was at midfield. Surely, someone else can make a tackle in the 30-plus yards between midfield and Kevin Prince Boateng's strike. I'm not excusing Clark, who I think was bad and didn't deserve his spot in the starting XI to begin with, but I'm not putting 100 percent of the blame for this goal on him.
2) I will put some of the blame for that goal on Tim Howard. Tim Howard is considered one of the top goalies in the world, one of the best in the English Premier League. He's good, don't get me wrong. But he just strikes me as way too inconsistent to be elite. He left room at the near post and Boateng exploited it.
3) I understand that that's more to playing striker than scoring goals. That said, Robbie Findley shouldn't be starting for this team. He's played more than a dozen games with the U.S. national team and hasn't scored yet. His miss Saturday was poorly struck. A good striker doesn't hit it at the goalkeeper. He hits it to a corner and he scores.
4) Jozy Altidore is the future of the U.S. at striker. He wasn't at his best Saturday.
That's the bad. The good was Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan and Michael Bradley. They were the reason the U.S. had any hope at all. But even Donovan wasn't quite as good as he's been.
The next big question to be answered is whether or not Bob Bradley will return as head coach. I don't think he should. Not because he did a bad job - starting Clark was a mistake as were some other lineup moves - but because I think teams need a new direction every four years. It's not an indictment on Bradley.
Sunday figures to be a great soccer day - Germany vs. England, Argentina vs. Mexico and the Philadelphia Union opener at PPL Park. If you're going to PPL, enjoy yourself. I hope to get there and if I do, will report back Sunday night.


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