US 1-0 Barbados - US advances
In a game that saw the favorites look tired and even more defensive minded then normal, the underdogs had their chance to run the game. But unlike the Italy-Spain Euro match, the US was able to see their opposition out of the competition.
Yesterday's game was a flashback for me as right from the opening moments, it reminded me of some late-80's games due to the horrible video production. Combine that with the frustration of the US to break through a Caribbean nation's backline and a crowd that was less then present and it was just like the old days (except the broadcast wasn't on some UHF channel that I didn't even know I got nor was the game tape delayed to 3am nor was it dubbed in Spanish).
The good news, unlike the old days, the team on the pitch was not our A-team and that was probably the biggest lesson of the day.
This is the type of match the US men are going to see a lot of over the next 16-months as we begin the full World Cup Qualifying run. The 'lesser' teams of Concacaf are all going to adopt a similar structure to Barbados and play heavy defense while hoping for something on the counter. This is nothing new, but it still gives the US problems.
Overall, it was a boring game that saw Barbados have the better run of play for most of the second half. A few players looked good (Szetela, Lewis, Pearce, Adu), some had their moments (DeMerit, Califf) and some looked a bit under focused (Bradley, Guzan, Beasley, Moor). Nothing came out of this game that is going to cause major changes to Bradley's future lineups (with the possible exception of getting Kenny Cooper on to the pitch).
The US senior men are off till August 20th, when they travel to Guatemala to take on Carlos Ruiz and La Azul y Blanco.
One last thing, great idea by the USL-1 teams to sponsor all the boards during this match.