Sigi Schmid’s analysis of U.S.-Portugal match
Clint Dempsey and DeAndre Yedlin made our city and our team very proud. They played vital roles in Sunday’s game. But then Cristiano Ronaldo made a great cross and the equalizer came.
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Proud to be from Seattle. Clint Dempsey and DeAndre Yedlin made our city and our team very proud. They played vital roles in Sunday’s game. Dempsey, up front by himself, was terrific and dangerous — especially in the first half. Yedlin came on and played a key part in the goal that looked like it would be the game winner. But then Cristiano Ronaldo made a great cross and the equalizer came.
• Geoff Cameron got off to an unfortunate start, and a bad finish as Silvestre Varela ran past him after running past Fabian Johnson. But where was Omar Gonzalez? I thought he was brought in at the end of the game to play three in the back centrally. That way he could keep inside and head out crosses in front of goal, but instead he was at midfield.
• Johnson was great, especially getting forward from the back. He is a quality player who is dangerous whenever he gets into the final third.
• Michael Bradley showed up big on Sunday. He was unlucky on the shot that was blocked. I think he is always more dangerous when he drops deep for the ball and then comes forward late. However, he had an unfortunate turnover prior to the last goal.
• Yedlin used his speed well to influence the second U.S. goal. His run to the end line was great. The cutback was good and eventually the ball landed at (Graham) Zusi’s feet who crossed to Dempsey for the goal.
• Losing Helder Postiga hurt Portugal. Eder, who came on as a sub, has been a big disappointment in the two games in which he has come in. Joao Moutinho was solid, but Raul Meireles was way under what he is capable of.
• Playing Ronaldo more central helped the U.S. When he goes wide, he is far more dangerous than when he is inside. He did not look near his top fitness level. When he is out wide (as his cross showed), he can change games.
• In order for the U.S. to go deep in this tournament, we need to improve on that last play. Players being responsible is a hard thing to work on in training. You can train for it, but in a big game, with an emotional crowd, and the adrenaline flowing some guys stop thinking. You need players who have the maturity to hold their nerve under these difficult moments. You can talk to them about it and as a coach you want it to show itself at those key times. Soccer is a game of 90-plus minutes. Tonight it was 95 minutes long and unfortunately the 95th minute cost us a win.
Overall this was a very solid game by the U.S. It’s too bad we did not get the three points.
Now, we all get to sit on pins and needles until Thursday and the final group games. Will the Germans and Americans play for a tie that puts them both through? A one goal loss is good if Ghana only wins 1-0 or if Portugal wins by less than four. A Ghana- Portugal tie puts us through as well. A win solves everything. Enjoy the week and do not get too agitated. Be proud of what our Seattle players did.
Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid will be analyzing key matches for The Seattle Times throughout the World Cup.