Ruthven_33 Graham Ruthven for American Soccer Now
Direct from Sarajevo

Halftime Report from Sarajevo: Bosnia 2, Yanks 0

Bosnia jumped out to an early lead on an Eddie Johnson gaffe that led to an Edin Dzeko goal. And it didn't get much better from there. Here's a halftime report for you.
BY Graham Ruthven Posted
August 14, 2013
3:31 PM
SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina—The U.S. has played in front of some big crowds recently (over 50,000 watched the Gold Cup final in Chicago) but I bet none were as vociferous as what they’ve experienced in the first half here in Bosnia.

What the American Outlaws bring for the U.S., the BH Fanaticos bring for Bosnia. In 45 minutes of play they’ve not stopped bouncing, whistling, chanting, waving flags, and generally making one hell of a noise!

The BH Fanaticos’ energy reflects that of the Bosnian team as a whole, actually. Remember how we all thought the U.S. was a bit of a runaway train at the moment, with that 11-game winning streak? Well, Bosnia is a rocket ship at the moment. The momentum they have, on the pitch and in the stands, is impressive.

Such is the enthusiasm of the Bosnian fans they’ve sold out the Kosevo Stadium for the first time since a crucial European Championship qualifier against Denmark. Even when Portugal were here in two years ago for the Euro 2012 play-off tie, there were empty seats.

But now that Bosnia are on a roll, winning eight of their last nine games, topping their World Cup qualifying group, every game is the hottest ticket in town. Even a friendly against the U.S.

As for the game itself, the U.S. appears to be struggling in the center, with Jermaine Jones offering very little alongside Michael Bradley. Should Jurgen Klinsmann move Mix Diskerud into a more reserved role, or maybe even put Geoff Cameron in there, bringing someone off the bench into the backline?

And Eddie Johnson, who gave away the first Bosnia goal and hesitated when he had two promising chances on the other end of the pitch, is having a match to forget. He looks overmatched.

This was always going to be a tough test for the Americans. Maybe they hadn’t anticipated it being quite this tough.

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