The Introduction of Juan Agudelo and Timmy Chandler Changed the Game for the US
The US played a very lethargic first half against Argentina, playing with what was considered their "best 11" players on the field. They played with mostly nine men behind the ball, giving Argentina the majority of the possession. Argentina mounted attack after attack, with the US struggling to possess the ball at all. At the half, the US were lucky to only be down 1-0.
At halftime, US manager Bob Bradley brought on 18 year old Juan Agudelo and handed 20 year old defender Timothy Chandler his first US cap. The moves changed the game completely in favor of the US.
The moves allowed the US to change from a 4-5-1 formation, to a 4-4-2, allowing Maurice Edu to move back to a more comfortable holding midfield role.
In addition, the introduction of Agudelo and Chandler saw the US change from sitting back, to now beginning to take the game to Argentina. Agudelo gave the US attack a threat, linking well with striker Jozy Altidore and scoring an equalizer just minutes into the second half.
Meanwhile, Timmy Chandler replaced right back Jonathan Spector and made an instant difference at the back for the United States. Chandler defender far better then Spector, and unlike Spector, Chandler began dashing up and down the right sideline.
Spector has never been known for his speed, and Argentina took advantage of that. When Chandler came on, he took away the left sideline for Argentina, and began making big runs up the field. Not only did Argentina struggle to take the ball off of him, but Chandler got forward enough to provide dangerous crosses into the box for the US attack.
Agudelo and Chandler changed the US mentality when they were introduced to the match. The two helped the US begin putting the Argentinian defense under pressure, giving the Americans the chance to actually win the game. It is no coincidence that Tim Howard was under significantly less pressure in the second half rather then the first. The reason, was the great play of Chandler and Agudelo.
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