In their first match of 2010, the United States Men's National team lost 3-1 to Honduras. While the American side -- which played a man down after captain Jimmy Conrad was sent off in the 17th minute -- didn't have many of their European-based players, the result was disappointing and the side struggled mightily in the first half. Although there were sparks of life in the second 45 minutes -- mostly coming from the five substitutes sent in by manger Bob Bradley -- overall it was an uninspired performance.
The Houston Dynamo midfielder only played the final 29 minutes, but he made the most of his half an hour on the pitch. Davis delivered the corner that led to Clarence Goodson's goal and also blasted a free kick that forced a good save from Donis Escobar. He probably should have earned another assist in the dying moment of the match, but no American could put the ball in the back of the net. The 28 year old showed his prowess in deadball situations, but was perhaps more impressive during the run of play. On a night when the U.S. showed almost zero presence in the attack, Davis passed well when he was on the ball. A solid fourth cap.
Like Davis, Bedoya came on in the 61st minute and almost immediately made an impression. His energy and understanding of the game was obvious, even if he looked a bit out of synch with his teammates. (On the night, the American players looked unfamiliar with each other's favored patterns of play.) Kansas City Wizards midfielder Roger Espinoza beat Bedoya in the 65th minute for a dangerous cross, but he countered with excellent service of his own in the 79th. The Örebro SK midfielder got his head on a Davis corner but couldn't direct it goalward. Still, after what by all reports was an excellent camp, the 22 year old showed he could find a place on the National Team of the future.
A terrible performance for Espinoza's club teammate. Although the first yellow card he picked up wasn't his fault (more on that below), the second was deserved if for nothing more than the stupidity of the foul, which was complete and utter brainfreeze from an experienced player who should know better. The performance probably didn't hugely impact Conrad's World Cup chances (again, more below), but it certainly wasn't a good end to what was an otherwise strong camp. The entire game was pretty much one to forget for the U.S. coaching staff and no one more than the centerback hopes this collective amnesia occurs soon.
The other American centerback also played poorly. The first yellow card picked up by his partner was a direct result of Marshall's botched touch. While he nearly scored on Robbie Rogers' cross in the 21st minute, the six-foot, three-inch tower didn't provide any other offensive spark. He certainly doesn't need to, but when he's beaten to the ball on Honduras' second goal and keeps Espinoza onside for the Catrachos third tally, he could make up for the deficiencies in the offensive end. Marshall, Conrad's competition for a possible World Cup spot, didn't impress in his hour of play.
Jeff Cunningham and Robbie Findley
The forward duo Bradley chose to start didn't manage to create many chances. Their team going down a man 20 minutes into the match certainly didn't help the pair, but when they did gain possession, Cunningham and Findley struggled to play off each other. The goal of this match was to evaluate the two Major League Soccer stars and unfortunately Bradley wasn't able to do so because of the early red card. That said, he can't be impressed with the display he saw, although he certainly learned that the two shouldn't be on the field together.
On numerous occasions, the Toronto FC defender showed that he was the most athletic player on the field. Wynne is strong, lightning quick, and much better in the air than his five-foot nine-inch stature would indicate. Unfortunately, he cannot turn these physical gifts into productive minutes. The right back spent much of the first half spraying the ball aimlessly upfield, missing his strikers by miles. Wynne got forward on overlapping runs as the match progressed but failed to hit any dangerous crosses. He just isn't quite good enough for the National Team.
Noah Davis covers the United States Men's National Team for Goal.com.
Get all the latest US National Team news with Goal.com's dedicated page.