Obviously, U.S. manager Jurgen Klinsmann’s choice to bring in Eddie Johnson gets a big check-plus.
So does the coach’s in-game adjustment that got Johnson a little closer to goal, where he could make more of those timely, separating runs that has helped the once-and-again striker build a career.
(As for Johnson’s original deployment out wide: Yes, that was a little surprising, although I suppose someone needed to play out there. With Brek Shea and Landon Donovan unavailable, somebody was going to be asked to play out of position. But either way, that field was so tiny and narrow, nobody could really play wide, per se. It was really more wide-ish.)
At any rate, Johnson explained that adjusting in the middle of the match was no problem at all. It is, after all, the position he plays every day for Seattle:
“It’s just back to the basics,” he said. “Trying to find seams. Trying to be hard to be mark in the box. … Just trying to be dangerous in the box and get my head on things.”
Here were Johnson’s post-game thoughts, along with post-game reactions from Michael Bradley, Carlos Bocanegra and Alan Gordon, all courtesy of U.S. Soccer.