Review: Confederations Cup 2009 Review and Analysis

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by TheHoustonHoyaFan, Aug 11, 2015.

  1. TheHoustonHoyaFan

    Oct 14, 2011
    Houston
    Club:
    FC Schalke 04
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    While we are waiting for the October 10th match to decide who goes to Confed Cup 2017 in Russia I thought a review of highlights of our 2009 campaign would be interesting. Reminder the US began with a L1-3 v Italy and a L0-3 v Brazil and needed a huge 6 GD swing just to advance. One thing that struck me was the number of set piece header goals we gave up to Brazil!

    L1-3 v Italy


    L0-3 v Brazil


    W0-3 v Egypt


    W2-0 v Spain


    L2-3 v Brazil
     
  2. cleansheetbsc

    cleansheetbsc Member+

    Mar 17, 2004
    Club:
    --other--
    That first Brazil match should be removed from history. Might be just about the worst game ever played. Bad red card. Horrible corner kick, counter attack goal, DMB just not giving a shit. It was just awful.

    Italy was a pretty good match until the red card.
     
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  3. Guinho

    Guinho BigSoccer Yellow Card

    May 27, 2001
    San Francisco, CA
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Pretty funny how that firt video has Italy up 1-0 after the US PK....

    Couldn't believe it I guess
     
  4. EvanJ

    EvanJ Member+

    Manchester United
    United States
    Mar 30, 2004
    Nassau County, NY
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Has the USA been in any other Confederations Cups?
     
  5. Geneva

    Geneva LA for Life

    Feb 5, 2003
    Southern Cal
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yes, there was another one where Kyle Martino got hacked and injured. And one of the players died (heart attack) in another game. My memory is so awesome!
     
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  6. TheHoustonHoyaFan

    Oct 14, 2011
    Houston
    Club:
    FC Schalke 04
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I thought that our matches in GC2015 were the worst?

    Italy was a good match until Feilhaber gave the ball away in our center circle (4:08), Italy went the other way and New Jersey Rossi scored!
     
  7. cleansheetbsc

    cleansheetbsc Member+

    Mar 17, 2004
    Club:
    --other--
    2003? or 2004? in France. Bruce brought a really young team to that. Turkey (and their fans) were brutal.
     
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  8. cleansheetbsc

    cleansheetbsc Member+

    Mar 17, 2004
    Club:
    --other--
    This was probably Bob's low point as manager with those 2 losses and with that a struggling win vs. Honduras in Chicago (going down early thanks to a horrible Dempsey turnover and no subsequent effort from him on the play) and the horrible loss at Saprissa (Torres, Mastro, Beasley, Wynne, MB90 just standing still allowing a goal to go right around him). He may have been fired (and Jurgen hired??) had they lost to Egypt. Thank goodness for dishonest prostitutes.
     
  9. cpwilson80

    cpwilson80 Member+

    Mar 20, 2001
    Boston
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yes, 2003. It was the last time FIFA held a Confed Cup that early in the WC cycle, and most notable for the late Marc-Vivien Foe.

    We went 0-2-1, and had an odd team (as most teams are a year after the World Cup.) Key stalwarts of the 2002 run like Reyna, McBride, O'Brien, and Friedel weren't there. You also start to see the class in-between the older guard and Donovan/Beasley that, for a variety of reasons, never cemented its status: Twellman, Gibbs, Mathis, Martino, etc.
     
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  10. SpencerNY

    SpencerNY Member+

    Dec 1, 2001
    Up in the skyway
    [​IMG]

    Good times, good times.
     
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  11. cleansheetbsc

    cleansheetbsc Member+

    Mar 17, 2004
    Club:
    --other--
    Donovan was captain. Wasn't Boca hurt with a hammy?
     
  12. SpencerNY

    SpencerNY Member+

    Dec 1, 2001
    Up in the skyway
    Boca had to be hurt or something. Wasn't in the starting 11 or on the subs bench.

    High highs and low lows for that tournament. I'd say we are due a high high right now.
     
  13. cpwilson80

    cpwilson80 Member+

    Mar 20, 2001
    Boston
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Thinking more about 2009, it looks like the most volatile tournament ever.

    Even in our successful tournaments, we tend to have at least one game that defies expectations. I'm thinking of beating Portugal and losing to Poland in 2002, or tying Italy with 9 players in 2006.

    I cannot stress how disjointed we looked against Italy and Brazil. The results confirmed that the 3-man midfield experiment in Costa Rica wasn't down to personnel, but rather a tactical failing with our lineup. To be fair, Bradley-Clark-Feilhaber or Bradley-Klestjan-Beasley doesn't have the same ring as Pirlo-De Rossi-Gattuso.

    That's not a typo: Beasley, in the infamous Brazil game, played a tucked-in central midfielder. This was the most dispirited performance I remember from the US in a very long time. We didn't even use all three subs.

    We entered the Egypt game with a "what the hell" attitude that unveiled the most effective formation for this team. The Altidore-Davies partnership with Donovan and Dempsey from the wings ensured the "empty bucket" was more of a 4-2-2-2, and a lethal one on the counter.

    We (or, at least, I) tend to romanticize lost possibilities, but I will remain convinced that the Altidore-Davies partnership was our best striker tandem in quite some time. Their skill sets complemented each other perfectly, with the twist of the shorter guy the better back-to-goal target player. We spent the next year trying to replicate this 3-0 win, but neither Buddle nor Findlay nor Gomez provided the same spark.

    Also not to be overlooked - a fantastic last three games from Jonathan Spector. Some enterprising US journalist should do a retrospective on his club and country career.

    The miracle of Egypt led to one of our greatest results of all time against Spain. Sadly, Brazil's second half in the final ruined the dream turnaround.
     
  14. Harper916

    Harper916 Member+

    Mar 30, 2001
    Lake Charles, La.
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    We were also in the '99 Confederations Cup in Mexico and beat Saudi Arabia for 3rd place. We beat New Zealand and Germany, and lost to Brazil, in the group stage, then lost to Mexico 1-0 in extra time of the semi's.
     
  15. CTS26

    CTS26 Member

    LAFC
    United States
    May 26, 2008
    Kannapolis
    Club:
    Los Angeles
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It was Germany we beat for 3rd place not Saudi Arabia in the 99 CC in Mexico.
     
  16. Mr Martin

    Mr Martin Member+

    Jun 12, 2002
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1999_FIFA_Confederations_Cup

    US beat Germany in the last group phase match to finish 2nd behind unbeaten Brazil. Germany finished 3d in the group, having also lost to Brazil 0-4. Effectively, the US-Germany game was like a quarterfinal knock-out match, as the US and Germany each had 3 points. Winner advances. Although I think the US would also have advanced with a draw thanks to a better goal differential.

    The US then took Mexico to overtime in the semi-final, but lost 0-1. The US beat Saudi Arabia for 3d Place.

    This was a really strong rebound event for the US, losing only 0-1 to Brazil and the OT loss to Mexico at Azteca, plus beating Germany 2-0, New Zealand 2-1 and the Saudis 2-0. Arena put the 1998 World Cup in the rear view mirror.
     
  17. soccerusa517

    soccerusa517 Member+

    Jun 23, 2009
    Ohio
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Lost respect for him after that. Could've shown a little restraint in the celebration.
     
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  18. papermache16

    papermache16 Member+

    Jan 30, 2009
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    That first Honduras goal was very similar to the first Ghana goal in 2010. Bad turnover in midfield leading to a shot with a left foot going past Timmy's near post. In fact, we equalized via a penalty kick in both games. All that was different was the ending...
     
  19. olephill2

    olephill2 Member+

    Oct 6, 2006
    Oregon
    Club:
    Watford FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    #19 olephill2, Aug 17, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2015
    I remember the 2009 Confederations Cup as perhaps the most improbable tournament as I've ever experienced as US fan. What a roller coaster it was. We were drawn into a clear group of death with Italy, Brazil and an Egypt squad that was perceived to be rising (Group A, by contrast, consisted of Spain and perennial powers South Africa, Iraq and New Zealand). Most of us didn't expect to get through the group, but were looking forward to testing our mettle against a couple of the world's best teams. But it didn't take long for things to turn south. A single good half against Italy before a red card caused the wheels to come off. An absolute stinker of a performance against Brazil which resulted in getting completely routed. Coupled with a disappointing WCQ loss to Costa Rica in Saprissa Stadium, fan confidence in the team had hit its lowest point during Bob Bradley's tenure. Two matches into the group stage, many had written off this team, and the third game was largely viewed as a formality, a chance to restore some pride, or as @cpwilson80 said, a "what the hell" game.

    Group B Table After 2 Matches:
    Brazil ... 6 points ... +4 GD
    Italy ... 3 points ... +1 GD
    Egypt ... 3 points ... 0 GD
    USA ... 0 points ... -5 GD

    Our chances to keep playing after the group stage were ... slim, at best. We would need to rout an Egypt side that had just beaten Italy, and hope that Brazil would simultaneously boat race Italy, just to have a mathematical chance at advancing. So, with the odds low and really nothing to lose, Bradley tried something different in the last group stage game against Egypt, ditching the 4-3-3 and reverting to a 4-4-2, with a fairly inexperienced Charlie Davies thrown into the line-up. The tactical changes worked, but the bigger difference maker was the mentality shift. The US always played at its best under Bob Bradley when our backs were truly against the wall, when the outcome looked bleak, and when they could adopt the "us against the world" perspective. We had that mentality in the WCQ at El Salvador in a big comeback in early 2009. We'd have it again at halftime against Slovenia a year later in the 2010 World Cup. And we had it entering the Egypt match.

    Charlie Davies scored a gritty goal 20 minutes in. It wasn't pretty, but they all count the same. Michael Bradley doubled the advantage in the 63rd minute, and Clint Dempsey made it 3-0 in the 71st minute on a wonderful assist from Jonathan Spector. By the end, it was 3-0 USA, and remarkably, Brazil had also thumped a flat Italy side by the same scoreline. We managed to advance on the most improbable and unlikely of scenarios: a 3-way tie for 2nd place (on 3 points), and a -2 goal differential that, miraculously, finished better than that of Italy and Egypt.

    Group B Table After 3 Matches:
    Brazil ... 9 points ... +7 GD
    USA ... 3 points ... -2 GD (4 goals scored)
    Italy ... 3 points ... -2 GD (3 goals scored)
    Egypt ... 3 points ... -3 GD

    The rest is history. I think ESPN studio host Rece Davis said it best before the final against Brazil, "the US' escape to reach the semifinals of the Confederations Cup would've vexed Houdini. Their next act: the ultimate mind freak. The #1 team in the world rankings vanquished, the #1 team in world mystique awaits." And while we weren't able to hold that lead and vanquish Brazil in the final, I've rarely felt more exhilaration as a US fan than when we went up 2-0 in the 27th minute of the first half of that game (only the Algeria goal, the 2002 WC Dos a Cero and possibly our 2nd goal against Slovenia rank as highly).

    What I remember most about that tournament, aside from the epic comeback to advance to the semifinals, is the inflection point it represented tactically in Bob Bradley's tenure. This tournament solidified the 4-2-2-2 line-up, with Donovan and Dempsey marauding the wings, Jozy Altidore and Charlie Davies (or a speedy understudy) up front, and Michael Bradley paired with a more defensive-minded central midfielder such as Ricardo Clark or Maurice Edu. It also brought Jay DeMerit into the starting line-up full time, and moved Carlos Bocanegra to left back. Lastly, it solidified Benny Feilhaber's role as an impact 2nd half sub off the bench, most often brought in for a striker, with Clint Dempsey shifting to forward and the formation switching to a 4-4-1-1. It was a recipe that Bob Bradley would later repeat in the World Cup, against Slovenia, Algeria and Ghana.

    I'll also remember the several stand-out performers from the tournament. Just as Tony Sanneh etched his name in USMNT lore for his outstanding 2002 World Cup, several guys really stepped up in this tournament and played lights out for the US:
    • Oguchi Onyewu - he was a beast in the back, and this tournament earned him a transfer to AC Milan
    • Jonathan Spector - he stepped in for an injured Steve Cherundolo and played exceptionally well, earning a couple key assists as well.
    • Ricardo Clark - from the Egypt game on through the final, he was tremendous as a defensive midfielder, covering so much ground and breaking up so many plays.
    • Charlie Davies - his pace, ability to run the channels, and work rate transformed this team.
    Also, this:



    Vintage Donovan, and maybe the best counterattacking goal I've ever seen.
     
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  20. cleansheetbsc

    cleansheetbsc Member+

    Mar 17, 2004
    Club:
    --other--
    I'd add that due to the red cards, this was the re-birth of Feilhaber. Honestly, I don't think Bob was expecting much from him coming off his injury problems (just some roles, get a closer look at) but he played a far more significant role coming off the bench.
     
  21. dna77054

    dna77054 Member+

    Jun 28, 2003
    houston
    Soccer can be strange game. In our two best tournament performances in the modern era, we managed to sneak out the first round with a negative goal difference in both, 02 WC and 09 confed cup.
     
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  22. Hararea

    Hararea Member+

    Jan 21, 2005
    It bears noting that neither the 1999 nor the 2003 Confed Cup was a World Cup prep event. They were second-rate off-season soccer, and FIFA was wise to do away with them.
     
  23. Hararea

    Hararea Member+

    Jan 21, 2005
    Iirc, this is also where Beasley was lined up against Ghana in WC06. I don't think it suited him at all.

    I don't think we saw enough of Davies to know his consistent level. He has 4 goals and 2 assists in 17 caps, hardly earth-shattering numbers.

    Speaking of Spector, he is finally playing CB full-time for his club. Even though we have a lot of options there, I wouldn't completely rule out a return to the national team.
     
  24. cleansheetbsc

    cleansheetbsc Member+

    Mar 17, 2004
    Club:
    --other--
    Not sure when the other 10 caps happened, but to me, he emerged in that Egypt match. After that there were only six more potential matches (not including the 2009 GC) for him to play in before he climbed into the back seat of that car.
     
  25. Hararea

    Hararea Member+

    Jan 21, 2005
    I don't disagree. I'm just saying that we don't know what level he would've sustained. Guys like Waldo and Jozy were/are great at times but also blew hot and cold.
     

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