The USA were outcoached, outplayed and outmanned by a superior Belgium side last night, losing 4-2 in Cleveland before 27,720 fans last night.
Good teams take advantage of their opponents mistakes and that is what Belgium did. All four Belgium goals came as a direct result of US defensive mistakes and that has to worry US coach Jurgen Klinsmann. We are basically a year from the World Cup in Brazil and Klinsmann has no clue what his best defensive formation is. And that is really worrying, as the US’s defensive frailties have been apparent for a while now, but Klinsmann is either incapable or unable to fix them.
Geoff Cameron looks lost and confused at right back, while DaMarcus Beasley is not a left back. In the middle of the defense, Omar González and Clarence Goodson don’t have the experience, or ability, to play against top strikers like Romelu Lukaku or Christian Benteke. They might be good enough for the US to qualify, but it will be three and out in Brazil unless Klinsmann comes up with a Plan B defensively.
In midfield the US were missing Michael Bradley and that is a big loss as he is the USA’s best midfield player. Graham Zusi looked good in the early part of the game but disappeared when Belgium adjusted to him.
Up front we had another disappointing night for Jozy Altidore. Altidore has yet to score for the US under Klinsmann, and he was poor last night, often isolated and starved of service. Altidore had a brilliant season in Holland scoring 31 goals in 39 appearances. But he doesn’t seem to fit into Klinsmann’s system.
The lack of creativity is painfully obvious to see, and the side is calling out for Landon Donovan. For some reason Klinsmann is not a fan of the US’s best player, but if the USA is to win any games in Brazil next summer they need Donovan in the team.
Which brings me to Jurgen Klinsmann himself. What worries me is that I don’t see an improving side. The same problems that the team had in the last round of qualifying have not been addressed. The team had to get better defensively, they need to bring Donovan back and they need find a way to get Altidore scoring again. Those are obvious problems, but Klinesmann seems incapable to addressing them,