Since I’m several days late here I’ll just put a quick $0.02 and the highlight vids.

Timothy Clary/AFP/Getty Images -  Landon Donovan celebrates a goal by Brek Shea that lifts the United States to a Gold Cup title.
Timothy Clary/AFP/Getty Images – Landon Donovan celebrates a goal by Brek Shea that lifts the United States to a Gold Cup title.

I thought the US team got off to a pretty slow start in the tournament but got better the more matches they had under their belt. I thought the first game was very sloppy, lots of hospital balls leading to turnovers. And seemingly in every game there was at least one or two lapses in the defense, usually punished by the one goal. If I were goalkeeper Nick Rimando I’d probably be pretty upset being left high and dry at least once per game.

Collectively, I thought set pieces were a HUGE improvement and is clearly a factor of Klinsmann’s german soccer background. If there is one thing the German’s do well is set pieces, even if you’ve been dominating them all game long don’t give them a corner or free kick or they will punish you. The US team is quickly arriving at that level.

The refereeing was also pretty abysmal, but what do you expect from CONCACAF.

Players who stood out to me…

  • Donovan. Stood up like a man. I have never seen this sort of hunger from him, and i have to say… I like it
  • Eddie Johnson. Appears to have resolved his headcase issues. Also looked very hungry. I would not have imagined him as a midfielder and he did quite well, but i think his home is at forward position. He isn’t a 90mins kinda guy tho
  • Besler. To me, the mark of a good centerback is you never hear their name mentioned
  • Rimando. He’s still got it. Commands the box despite his lack of height
  • Beckerman. Yes, his dreads bother me. But he is tough, controls the ball well, plays real smart, is in the right place at the right time. My only gripe is watching him run is like watching paint dry, he is soooooo…. slooooooow
  • Beasley. The opposite of Beckerman. Ran FAST all game, every game. To me, he has the only position “locked up” on the field. I don’t think there is a better left back in the entire pool of USMNT players right now, and unless his performance suddenly falls off a cliff that position is his for the World Cup
  • Holden. He was playing pretty well and making himself a possible contender until he tore his ACL in the final. Again. I think possibly too many games in too short a time span after recovering from such a big injury in the first place made his knee a little more susceptible to a repeat. This is his 3rd major knee injury in 3 years….

Click through to see the highlights

Now to the highlights from the final.

And the post-game celebrations.

And more highlights from all the games over at US Soccer’s Youtube Channel.