The US Men’s National Team capped off a successful training camp by earning their second win last night by defeating Panama 1-0 in Panama City. The evaluation for Jurgen Klinsmann continues as he looks set to call in some ‘B’ teamers to the next training camp with the ‘A’ team regulars.
The result Wednesday night might not have been the best sampling of talent at JK’s disposal but the adversity desired by the coaching staff was ever present.
Some players may have been tested early on but overall the composure of the squad was quite mature. Graham Zusi opened his National Team account by slotting home an early goal from inside the penalty box and set the team up early on with a 1-0 lead.
Panama proved to be a wily bunch always looking to attack and fending off the advances by Bunbury and Wondolowski, who proved widley ineffective for the most part.
But the game took a turn in the second half with centerback Geoff Cameron being sent off for a tackle on Blaz Perez from behind. As the last defender, the player earned a straight red.
I can’t say the referee made the incorrect call, but it was definitely harsh. Cameron did come from behind on the player and he was the last defender, the harshness of the penalty might have warranted a yellow, but certainly a foul was committed.
Overall the performances for some players were more about building consistency, and a level of familiarity has been developed with the talent pool at JK’s dispense.
I will say, however, that I would like to see Brek Shea being played as a center forward more often. It just feels sometimes that his involvement in the game is sporadic because of his lack of service in the wide positions.
The down side to Shea is that, he sometimes looks like he has no concept of controlling the ball at his feet and sometimes gets hurried into making desperate runs with no real aim.
It’s safe to say, that the art-form of true wing play in America has been lost with the retirement of Eddie Lewis. Shea has no desire or just doesn’t consider a cross from the wide position as a viable option.
I think the defense may have given Jk pause for thought, at least he can consider bringing in depth at critical positions, Parkhurst, being the natural choice for selection.
The midfield is still under inspection and the forward position continues to be a huge blight on the US set up.
Time is fast approaching for CONCACAF Qualifying begins, but before that, Italy and Mexico. The honeymoon is coming to a close for Jurgen Klinsmann, at least he can hang his hat on two wins with a largely domestic based squad and a successful training camp.
Let us know what you think about the two recent results and leave a comment below.