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Over the years, Clarence Goodson has been a good servant to the USMNT, stepping in when the top options at center-back were not available due to issues with injuries or form.
However, his performance against Belgium once again proved that he is simply not an international quality center-back. Meanwhile, the man who has captained the USMNT for the last half-decade, Carlos Bocanegra, was left off the roster entirely.
Goodson was at least partially at fault on all of the first three Belgian goals.
On the first, Goodson did not track his runner, instead trying to catch Romelu Lukaku offsides. Then, as Tim Howard came out to stop the original shot, Geoff Cameron failed to follow Kevin Mirallas, who pounced on the rebound, and Goodson failed to fall in behind Howard.
Falling in behind your keeper when he is forced to come off his line is Defending 101—and Goodson failed to get the job done.
On the second goal, as Omar Gonzalez slid across to pick up a diagonal run by Lukaku, Goodson allowed Christian Benteke to continue his run, unmarked, into the area. Gonzalez took a bad touch and lost the ball, and Lukaku found a wide-open Benteke for the second goal.
On the third goal, Goodson was again beaten by Lukaku, whose ensuing shot was deflected by Brad Guzan out for a corner. The U.S. failed to clear the resulting corner, and the Belgians got their third goal of the night.
It is hard to believe that anyone, let alone the man being paid to coach the United States men’s national team, truly believes Goodson is a better option at center-back than Bocanegra.
If the future truly is Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler, that is something U.S. fans are ready to accept. However, to think that Goodson is truly the third-best option at center-back for the U.S. is truly unimaginable.