Some fine performances this weekend

Hans Backe, on the second Red Bull red card:

Judge for yourself at Major League Soccer Soccer. It looks to me as if Miller tried to smack Boggs with an elbow.

But even if the call was that egregious, Backe should be making out a hefty donation to MLSWORKS this week. You can't just call the integrity of the referees into question just because a call doesn't go your way. Unless Cuauhtemoc Blanco signed a Revolution jersey for him, Andrew Chapin should receive a handsome apology. One of the least attractive aspects of the game is the disrespect shown to officials.

Yeah, fine, it is kinda fun when coaches sound like guys in the supporter section at around beer number four of the half. And it's also a little amusing to picture the Krafts spending money to fix Revolution games. But if the goal is sincerely to improve domestic refereeing, screaming fix at every questionable call is just a good way to make sure no calls are made. And I gotta tell you, I'm not sure we can go back to the honor system.

Oh, yeah...if you are watching that clip, you might want to go straight to the 75th minute mark to see the card, otherwise you might see the Preston Burpo's injury. Credit to MLS, they did not hone in or show the injury close up - but even seeing Burpo wave his hands desperately was frightening. Burpo's a freaking warrior - not a journeyman, a hard-ass mercenary. Let's hope he can make it back to MLS.
_________

So the United States beat Turkey, and if you all would like to pretend the first half never happened, I'm cool with that. Because, um, wow. We'd be lucky to be only down a goal with that kind of performance in South Africa. The Send-Off Series was turning into a Write-Off Series.

I can't get that mad at Spector...although Cherundolo's good enough that if we want to get mad at Spector, we can. I'm a little more irked with Goodson, DeMerit, and the eighteen defensive midfielders we have on the roster who didn't track back to play defense, like it says on the job description.

I hope that little adventure doesn't sour people on the Bocanegra at left back experiment, though, because I'm so glad to see it and I hate admitting I'm wrong. I think Onyewu is going to be fine in a couple of weeks, and Spector-DeMerit-Gooch-Bocanegra is still my preferred back line. Sure, now I'm willing to settle for Cherundolo-DM-Gooch-Boca, but let's not put Bocanegra back in the middle just because of one little screwup. The alternative is still Bornstein, after all.

Bradley also agreed with me in putting Dempsey up top...and it backfired miserably. As if to rub it in, Clint moves back to midfield in the second half, and scored the winning goal.

Nice of Landon and Jozy to show up after an hour...I mean, WHAT A FANTASTIC GOAL! If you think I'm going to sit here and pick one little measly play as an excuse to totally change my opinion on a player - well, yeah, you're right. If Findley can make that kind of sweet ball against England, or even against Slovenia or Algeria, then as far as I'm concerned Hawaii isn't a state.

I should hold my peace about this, but...Jozy just spent the year being horribly disappointing for a bad, bad Premiership team. And he didn't exactly set any professionalism standards there, either. Depending on a player that young, with that inconsistent a record recently, is asking for trouble. I'm relieved more than anything that he scored, but he's not going to carry this team with his talent. He's going to be good enough to finish chances his teammates create. If those aren't forthcoming, then Jozy's going to be invisible.

On the other hand, Buddle didn't even see the field in a game where the US needed an offensive spark, so, Jozy and Robbie Findley must have been killing Edson in practice this week.

I still can't get over how ballsy Bob Bradley was with this roster. By putting Buddle, Findley and Herculez on the squad, the youngest player on the team is the most experienced forward. That takes guts.

Bob Bradley has made current form the deciding factor in who gets playing time. I think this is the correct decision. Landon, Tim Howard. Everyone else, they have to earn the job in practice.

In other words, yes, I think Bob Bradley is capable of benching his own son for Jose Torres. It's vastly more likely Torres replaces Ricardo Clark, sure. But I think Bob Bradley realizes his job for the next month is not to be a father, but a mother.

I know, I left Dempsey off the automatic start list. I'd say Dempsey is also talented enough to earn an automatic start, but then, up until the middle of the Confederations Cup he was closer to playing himself off the roster than guaranteeing himself a starting spot. And, like Michael Bradley, Dempsey seems to play better when people have been criticizing him, so I'm going to call him marginally talented in the vain hope he reads this and proves me wrong by winning the Golden Boot.