So I guess its Go Mexico now huh?
The US is out of the 2006 World Cup. A 3-0 loss to the Czech Republic, a 1-1 draw with Italy, and a 2-1 loss to Ghana finishing a disappointing 0-2-1 in the so called “Group of Death” will make that flight back across the pond all that much more miserable.
Right now I would say most of the heat is on Coach Bruce Arena. He started a 4-5-1 formation for all three games which is something the US hadn’t done during qualifying nor the most recent exhibition matches. Tactically it was the wrong decision. The US is a team that can traditionally score early and then get another goal or two later to finish off an opponent. That never happened during this World Cup and I think it is clear that the decision to play a 4-5-1 was the reason.
Strikers Eddie Johnson, Josh Wolff, and Brian Ching saw limited action and Ching saw no action at all. I defended Arena when he picked Ching over New England Revolution striker Taylor Twellman. Why? Ching is bigger and better. Not to mention the fact that he has 7 goals in 6 MLS games this season. So when the US needed a win, I.e. goals, Ching was riding the pine.
The one good decision Arena made was picking and playing Clint Dempsey. He was one of a few US players who played well and he scored the only US goal during the tournament.
It’s not fair for Arena to take all of the blame because star players like Landon Donovan and DaMarcus Beasley didn’t play well at all. But it is fair to blame Arena for the tactically bad decisions he made such as the 4-5-1 formation and not getting play makers into the matches like Ching and midfielder John O’Brien.
The next World Cup is in South Africa in 2010. I don’t think Bruce Arena will be on the US sidelines